MIAMI — Circle Feb. 12 on your Bulls schedule. That's the next time the Bulls face the Heat and, if the end of this blowout is any indication, it could be chippy.
The Bulls' bench erupted when rookie Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called a 20-second timeout with 30.9 seconds left and Miami up 13 points, simply to substitute for regulars Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem.
Assistant Del Harris could be seen shouting toward the Heat bench, and coach Vinny Del Negro was surprisingly forthcoming when pressed if the timeout upset him.
"I don't know what they were doing," he said. "It's fine. But, you know, there are 30 seconds to go in the game, they're up 15 or 13 or whatever. But, whatever. We'll play them again."
Spoelstra defended his move in a tone somewhere between annoyed and angry.
"If they want to make a big deal about it, whatever," he said. "That is a common practice in the NBA. I was perplexed by that to be honest.
"I don't know why they were all fired up. I wanted to get our guys out in case something crazy happened. They had some guys at the scorer's table. I clearly wasn't doing anything to show anybody up. I don't really know what the heck that was all about."
Actually, no Bulls substitutes entered at that stoppage. Del Negro had cleared his bench with 1:20 remaining.
"I probably could've done it a little bit before that," Spoelstra said. "I wanted to. There just wasn't a stoppage in play. I wasn't trying to show anybody up."