While Chicago is finally getting some warm weather, things will really heat up when Miami travels to the Windy City for the Eastern Conference Finals tomorrow night.
And it’s going to be a tale of one city.
Both Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose are Chicago natives, which certainly will make the games crowd pleasers in their hometown. Wade led the Heat to the 2006 NBA title, and Rose is helping to respark the Bulls' championship magic of the 1990s.
Better yet, the Bulls have secured home-court advantage throughout the playoffs after closing the regular season with the best record in the NBA, 62-20.
Both teams got to the finals by quickly dispatching of their opponents in the best of seven games. The Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 4-1 in their series and regained their stride to take the Atlanta Hawks 4-2. The Heat needed only 4-1 series to take down the Philadelphia Sixers and the Boston Celtics.
The conference finale is also probably the most attractive among the possibilities, as some fans are still bitter about LeBron James’ decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers after seven seasons and sign with Miami last year with the goal of winning a championship. What better team to humble and cool off James and company than the young, charging Bulls?
‘King’ James, a man without an NBA title crown, went live on television to tell the world that he was going to put on a Miami Heat uniform. Many fans and experts were, and remain, critical of The Decision and how it was done.
Miami is paying James and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh hefty contracts, leaving little money in its salary cap to secure a complementary supporting cast off the bench. Nevertheless, with three young superstars in Wade, James and Bosh, some experts are already saying the team will win the championship.
But they have to go through the Bulls, who sport the NBA's Coach of the Year in Tom Thibodeau and the league's Most Valuable Player in Rose. Also, let's not forget that the Bulls swept the Heat in their regular season matches this season, with all three games being won by 4 points or less.
The last time the Bulls reached the Eastern Conference Finals was in 1998, when Michael Jordan eventually led the team to the NBA championship by hitting the game-winning shot against the Utah Jazz in Game 6. Just saying …
Where to watch the big game
Unfortunately, only those with access to cable television will be able to watch the game, as tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Sunday on TNT.
For the spectators who can't watch the game in the comfort of their home, Glenview Patch has picked the best spots to watch the blocks, dunks and hoopla locally.
1880 Tower Drive, 847-729-9273
The scene: Looking for a party? Look no further. This large restaurant and bar is likely to be packed with hungry fans throughout the game. The Yard House's huge menu includes dishes like the Lobster, Crab & Artichoke Dip and delicious Firecracker Wings. Combine an overwhelming large food selection with a seemingly and you have the perfect playoff game recipe.
1241 Harms Road, 847-724-5577
The scene: You won't find a restaurant with more tradition than Hackney's on Harms. Cozy and charming, this burger joint is the original Hackney's location which opened way back in 1939. Sit back, watch the game and sink your teeth into a famous (with a cold beer, of course).
235 East Lake Avenue, 847-724-0477
The Scene: Meier's Tavern opened in 1933 and hasn't changed much since. This classic watering hole features a simple menu of American fare and a full bar. Grab a glass of Dab (their fine German pilsner) and munch on the tavern's signature onion rings while you enjoy the game.
1352 Shermer Road, 847-559-1919
The Scene: The oldest bar in town offers plenty of TVs inside as well as on the outdoor patio, plus a full menu including burgers we hear are highly reccommended.
Buffalo Wild Wings
1018 Willow Road, 847- 562-0333
The Scene: With 64 TVs and finger-licking wings, you can count on a great game watching experience and some delicious snacks, too.
1150 Willow Rd, 847-480-2323
Pinstripes has two TVs at the bar and seven in its bowling alley, although the restaurant and entertainment venue is better known for , plus bowling and bocce offerings. That means there's a little something for the whole family if not everyone wants to watch the game!