No one thought the Miami Heat would lose Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Chicago Bulls on Monday, least of all the Heat themselves.
"We didn't expect to lose Game 1," Chris Bosh told ESPN.com Tuesday. "It's a kick in the chin. And we're going to have to get up, dust ourselves off and counter. Playoffs are ugly. It's been a little bit too pretty around here, to be honest."
Eight days after sweeping the severely undermanned Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, Miami wilted in the final minutes to the Bulls, turning a three-point lead into a seven-point loss.
Making matters worse, the Bulls stole Game 1 without the help of All-Stars Derrick Rose and Luol Deng or starter Kirk Hinrich.
"They just put themselves in a better position," LeBron James said Tuesday. "It's tough. This is what the playoffs are all about. We're going against a really good team, and we know that."
The Heat have been here before, though. In the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, Chicago beat Miami in Game 1. Oklahoma City did the same thing in Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals. In both cases, the Heat ended up winning the next four games to take the series.
But the Heat certainly are not counting on history repeating itself. Miami missed plenty of open shots in the first half on Monday, sure, but the Bulls also beat the Heat on the glass (46 rebounds to 32 rebounds) and in the paint (40 points in the paint to 32 for the Heat).
"We're in a situation where dudes are not going to be able to sleep," Bosh said. "Everybody kisses your a-- a little bit, everything's been hunky-dory and is supposed to come to you. But you don't just show up in this league and win games. We all know that, especially not against this (Bulls) team."