Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Celtics' Thomas: Days since sister died hardest of my life

Kristopher Love | 20 April, 2017, 06:05

The Celtics didn't have it in them. And we have to focus our time on trying to do our jobs as well as we possibly can. The favored No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference lost a second straight game to the No. 8-seeded Chicago Bulls Tuesday night at TD Garden. They could not have played worse in my opinion.

Said Rondo: "For the playoffs, for me in particular, you get a couple extra days of rest for the body". "That's our guy. He had two guys on him and he trusted us".

So that's the problem this series. Boston's offense doesn't feature another player on who can create his own shot, so the Bulls need only stick a bigger defender on Thomas (or double team him) to shut down the Celtics attack; and then limit turnovers (which they definitely have with 12 overall) to avoid fast break opportunities. But this is where the optimistic view comes into play. Such ability to stay with his man on a drive from the exterior to the basket was not something that Lopez showed he had earlier in the season, and his ability to recover makes it that much easier for the Bulls to mitigate the small ball spacing of the Celtics' offense. The way each team is playing respectively is quite unbelievable, which explains why everyone is shocked at this development.

- Led by Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade, the Chicago Bulls head back home with a 2-0 series lead over top-seeded Boston.

It is possible that nothing changes.

In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Clippers turned up the pressure inside on Tuesday to salvage a split of the first two games of their National Basketball Association playoff series against the Utah Jazz. Now hold a 22-rebound advantage through two games of the series. The Bulls' first playoff game at home this year in front of fans ecstatic to have the team overperforming right now is going to be a hard one to steal, even if it is airing on ESPN. They have to dig deep, and come together to get out of this nightmare of a match up. Losing in the first round against an inferior team would cause a lot of unnecessary drama and negative attention.