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.