Both the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls head into this game fighting for playoff positioning come April. Brad Stevens and co. took care of home court by playing true team basketball. Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler combined for a total of 13 points as Chicago’s offense stunk up the joint. Thankfully, this game did not result in a contentious foul call like last time in Chicago, as the Celtics ran away with the game from start to finish, 100-80.
The Game Flow
The Celtics clamped down on defense from the tip-off. Chicago missed their first 12 shots through a mixture of great C’s team defense and terrible shot selection. Somewhere, Michael Jordan is shaking his head in disapproval. The Bulls’ entire season as been in flux, much like their first quarter output, shooting a stifling 14% from the field. Boston closes the quarter out with a 22-9 lead.
Now it didn’t take damn near half the quarter for Chi-Town to make their first field goal (2 minutes and 20 seconds) like in the first, but their offense showed no signs of starting a comeback. Terry Rozier showed some flashes of, dare I say, Kyrie Irving, with his ability to slice through traffic off the dribble. Jaylen Brown even decided to take a trip to the circus, going behind the back before throwing up a prayer layup. It’s easy for Boston to defend Chicago when they place four of their five players on the perimeter at all times. The C’s are a great, quick perimeter defending team, and have one of the best ones in the game in Avery Bradley. The blowout continued for the Cs, 46-26.
The third quarter was no different than the first two. The Celtics released the hounds on defense and stole the ball at will, forcing a total of 16 turnovers at the end of the period. At one point, Bradley and Thomas scored 37 points, compared to the Bulls’ 38 points. I have honestly never seen such dysfunction on both ends of the hardwood in an NBA game, yet there is still another full quarter of this sob story to be played. Their only glimmer of hope was Denzel Valentine’s offensive outburst but Boston is still coasting, 76-57.
If you ever thought that there was any hope for Chicago to trim the margin, just note that they are 29th in the league in fourth quarter scoring, so the odds aren’t in their favor. The fourth quarter was like a broken record. It was more of the same story for both teams; great ball movement and by the Celtics, compared to the YMCA-like offense the Bulls ran. Boston wins it in a cake-walk, 100-80.
It didn’t necessarily piss me off, but I fully expected Brown (11 points, 4-9 FG, 3-6 3 FG) to put on more of a show aside from his miracle layup. I’ll a win any day of the week and I’m sure Brown would too. He’s improving each and every game and is proving to Boston that he was worthy of being selected number three overall.
One of the best two-way guards in the game, Avery Bradley. Bradley had to cover a fellow great two-way guard in Jimmy Butler and at times the former king of the two-way title in Dwayne Wade. Cameron Payne just so happened to be the victim on this play.
Isaiah Thomas vs. Robin Lopez one on one? Yeahhh I think I’ll put $50 on IT to win that matchup. Lopez is going to have to tape his ankles for the second half if he wants his ankles in tact.
Isaiah Thomas: 22 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 3 steals.
Avery Bradley: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 1 block.
Robin Lopez: 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks.