Bulls @ Celtics 7pm CST on ESPN

The pressure to win this game, at least from fans, is greatly diminished after winning the home opener against San Antonio.  I can't imagine a Bulls fan being unhappy with a split among those two games.

However, the pressure in the locker room is still on due to the revenge factor.   The Celtics mauled the Bulls at time, and I'd bet Tim Donaghy's got a better explanation than the league on why Rondo wasn't suspended.
Internally, I'm guessing the Bulls want to come out and punch the Celtics in the mouth.   Even if they lose, I think they want to physically abuse and punish them tonight.   We'll see if that happens.

The Celtics look like one of the most talented teams in the league if they stay healthy, and you never want to get the aging veteran, star studded team early in the season before anyone has developed all the aches and pains of a regular season, but we got that team last night and still won.

Key to a win:
Much like against the Spurs, the Bulls are a much younger team.  I think they need to push the pace hard and try to wear down the Celtics vets.   If the Bulls can attack the offensive glass from the wings with Deng and Salmons forcing Allen and Pierce to work harder on defense it could help considerably.

Regardless of what they do, the Bulls will need to have considerable help in a couple break out performances or an off night by the Celtics.   They're going up against an elite team on the second half of a back to back on the road.  It's not going to be an easy game.  I don't follow point spreads, but everything about this game strikes me as going against the Bulls.
 
Key to a loss:
Virtually anything normal happening.   If the roles were reversed and the Bulls had home court and the Celtics were on a back to back travel day then I'd give them a fair chance.  That was the situation against the Spurs, and the Bulls won.  The Celtics are simply a rested, ultra talented, home team.

I don't know that I need a Bulls win to feel good right now.  I do need them to play hard, play competitively, and not back down.  If they do that, then you can still walk away from this game feeling okay.

  

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  • The thing I like about our team is that we are young and back to back games shouldt really be an issue however it will be interesting to see how Rose and Deng perform after playing big minutes the night before and still not being 100%. We have a team of guys who give a team like the Celtics fits with our hustle and grit. We may see some hard fouls and body flying. KG will make it personal tonight to show that if he was healthy last season the great playoff series people talk about would have been over in under 6 games.

  • Very true and thats why KG will be on a mission tonight. As long as we dont get blown out and play hard and hold our own I will not go off tonight if we lose. I just want us to be a team that laces them every night and plays their butts off.

  • I'm calling the upset. You heard it here first.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    This isn't a REVENGE game. Rather, it's a STATEMENT game on whether this team is ready to take the next step or not.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Is Boston really rested? This is their 3rd game in 4 nights

  • Who really expects them to win tonight? Not a lot of basketball fans, I'm sure. If the Bulls can come out and control the game and win it, I think that will say a lot about their development as a team. It will make a strong statement.

  • Lets not get ahead of ourselves. Game 2 of an 82 game season cannot be a statement game. I am excited at the prospect of having a legitimate high low game as Noah continues to look very solid.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Sure it's a statement game. Everyone keeps talking about Boston, Cleveland and Orlando as the top 3 seeds in the East. Well, it's time for the Bulls to join the discussion as a potential 4th seed. What better way to do that, then with a win tonight?

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Doug, do u think jokim noah is a future all star?

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Salmons is so bad.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    HALFTIME: Celtic 50 Bulls 35

    "You live by the JUMPER, you DIE by the JUMPER!!!"

    Where's the penetration to the basket?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    11/38 FG shooting (28%), including 1/8 from the 3pt-line in the first half by the Bulls.

    Why did they waive a 50% 3pt-shooter (Derrick Byars) again?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    We have just passed EMBARASSING!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    MISSING PERSON:

    John Salmons - He stands 6'6" tall and plays SG/SF for the Chicago Bulls. If you have seen him please get in touch with Vinny Del Negro as soon as possible.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Ring...Ring...Ring...

    (Derrick Byars)...Hello

    (Joh Paxson)...Derrick, how you been?

    (Derrick Byars)...Good and you?

    (John Paxson)...Fine. Hey, by chance do you still have your shooting touch?

    (Derrick Byars)...Yep. I never lost it.

    (John Paxson)...Great. What do you say you come back to the Bulls?

    (Derrick Byars)...I would LOVE to. I wish I NEVER left in the first time around.

    (John Paxson)....That was my fault...Sorry about that. I'll make it up to you. You still like jersey #7 right?

    (Derrick Byars)...Yep. Alright, I'll see you in Miami.

    (John Paxson)...I can't wait.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Mr. Happy, Even if we get Byars, Vinny wouldn't play him. Even in the preseason he didn't. I agree that Salmons realy needs to find his shot though.

  • In reply to drose:

    When Derrick Byars did play, he shot 7/14 from the 3pt-line. That's better than anything the Bulls have right now on their team. Last I checked, they shot 3/16 last night vs. the Spurs and 1/11 tonight vs. the Celtics.

    The Bulls need a 3pt-shooter. Derrick Byars might be the answer.

  • In reply to drose:

    Salmons don't look like a veteran. Salmons held the ball too much when he received it and then forced the shot - I mean, why not just shoot the ball when you get it or drive. He let the defense set up every chance Rose or Hinrich passed it to him. I like him more at the SF position. Gordon is missed. Seriously, did you all see Rose get trap every position?

  • In reply to drose:

    King and Funk said something about the bulls not being rested. they said they got to the hotel at 3am, and sometime before wake up call the fire alarm went off. so they didnt get much sleep.

  • In reply to drose:

    Doug,

    Good call.

    In terms of the Bulls HORRID 3pt-shooting. I believe they are 4/27 on the year. As I recall, Derrick Byars was 7/14 from 3pt-land in the preseason. I'm thinking they need to give him a call. He is a better 3pt-shooter, then anyone the Bulls have on their roster. I'm serious too.

    You can see why I wanted this guy on the team. John Salmons is in a MAJOR shooting slump. Luol Deng proved, once again, he has NO CONSISTENCY in his game. Jannero Pargo was alright last night, but at best, he is ERRATIC shooting the ball. I won't even mention Lindsey Hunter, who can't find any minutes. Neither can James Johnson for that matter.

    Somebody needs to raise this discussion because this is not a good situation. The Bulls could use Derrick Byars' 3pt-shooting.

  • Have faith. The Bulls are winning tonight.

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