Chris Bosh tried to stay out of it after Joakim Noah proclaimed of Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls, "It's going to be a war."

"I don't want to elaborate on his words," Bosh said Sunday of Saturday's comment from the fiery Bulls' center.

Bosh, however, couldn't help himself, with the best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series to open Monday at 7 p.m. at AmericanAirlines Arena.

"But that's how it's going to be," Bosh said. "We know what they're going to bring. We know the passion and the play that he's going to bring. We're going to be ready for it."

By then there was no way for the Heat center to avoid Noah's hyperbole.

"But the war," Bosh said, "starts on our terms, on our floor, and we have to make sure we take advantage of it."

After four punishing regular-season games that the teams split, with each winning once on the opposition's home court, nothing short of a physical, bruising series is expected, even with the Bulls dealing with the uncertain status of guard Kirk Hinrich and his sore calf, forward Luol Deng and his recent spinal tap, and guard Derrick Rose and the ongoing work back from the devastating knee injury that has had him out since the first round of last season's playoffs.

"That's their foundation, the bedrock of who they are," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of the Bulls' grit. "We feel that's our bedrock and foundation of who we are, as well. So, you have two teams with two similar mentalities. There'll be a lot of things that decide the outcomes of these games, but the effort areas, the loose balls, the rebounding will be major factors."

The Bulls are coming off Saturday night's 99-93 Game 7 road victory over the Brooklyn Nets, flying to South Florida overnight and then taking Sunday off. The Heat have been idle since completing their 4-0 first-round sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks a week ago Sunday.