Bulls at Celtics 2:30 on ABC

The Chicago Bulls finish off their nine game road trip with a game in Boston against the Celtics. The Celtics looked like they were rolling up until a couple a games ago when they dropped games to the Lakers and Raptors.

Derrick Rose couldn't commit to playing the game at his last interview point and was held out in a move Thibodeau called "precautionary" against the Bobcats on Friday.

The Bulls can beat the Celtics with or without Rose

The Celtics don't get easy baskets. They aren't going to get out on the break, and they aren't going to get many second chance points. Without having a source for easy points, the Celtics will struggle to score on the Bulls vaunted defense.

With a fully healthy Rose, the Celtics can't keep up with Chicago on the break either, and the Bulls would beat them nine times out of ten on both ends of the court.

If Derrick can't go or is limited, the Bulls still have an excellent change to win the game. The Celtics will still struggle to score on the Bulls defense, but the Bulls will now have similar troubles on the other end.

Can Boozer and Noah step up against a good defense?

Over the past four or five games we've seen Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer play big on the offensive end of the court. However, they've done so against some pathetic front courts and poor team defenses.

They now need to prove the turnaround is for real against a real team defense. Especially if Rose misses the game, the Bulls ability to win will likely rest in the hands of Boozer/Noah and how well they contribute to the offense.

Battle of the reserve Forwards

Luol Deng and Paul Pierce were selected as the two all-star reserve forwards, Pierce for his offense, Deng for his defense. The Celtics best chance to win rides on whether or not Pierce's offense can overcome Deng's defense. My prediction is no.

Pierce may get his points, but I doubt he gets them efficiently with Deng shadowing him all game long. Meanwhile, Luol Deng has been on fire recently, particularly from the three point line. If Deng wins this matchup, the game is all but over for the Celtics.

Prediction, Bulls win

The Celtics are a good team, but a healthy Bulls team is simply in another class. A Bulls team without Rose will struggle, but I think even if that's the case they find a way to get it done.

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  • Not sure the Bulls can beat the Celtics without Rose but they need to show against a good team that they can win going down the stretch.

  • More then a Garden win where we've shown time and again we can win and match up well against Boston period(are the superior team), I'm just looking for Derrick to get healthy with his back short term, and hopefully toe long term. If his back is fine and the toe is not regressing then of course it would be nice to see him back.

    Right now I'm also focused on Joakim and Taj. They were a shot blocking, paint defending, rebounding dynamic duo before Booz came along. And I'm not blaming Boozer, just noting it. Taj may not be a highly skilled post player, but he does have some moves and ability down low. If he makes the effort to score down low the way he has lately, and the team looks for him then his outside shot will follow and he once again becomes a serious scoring threat.

    Likewise Joakim. If he can get back to averaging near 13ppg then that means the away hand hooks(extended layups) and baseline hooks are being attemtped and converted. If so, then fine, take one or two cyclone shots a game of which you have a chance of going 1 for 2 or 50%.

    To me, Miami's biggest weakness obviously being the interior, Taj and Jo in the past have shown the ability to score some and raise their energy defensively and the team's by doing so.

    If Taj and Jo scoring down low becomes a focal point for Tibs and If They make the effort to fight for baskets down low instead of settling for the easy way out with jumpers, then they can re-emerge as reliable playoff scorers, and possibly take down Miami.

    And Boozer is what he is - a pick and pop jump shooter who can flat out shoot. Just make sure he fights down low one or two plays early or set him up with a dummy play or set play such as a slipped screen or double screen to get that early inside out dunk or layin. Bulls could be headed towards legit Finals appearance if these key factors emerge. And of course a healthy RIP for the playoff duration.

  • According to Nick Friedell and KC Johnson, Derrick Rose is out today. C.J. or Luol dropping 40 today. That or damn near everyone scoring in double-figures.

  • Again, Noah and Boozer are not congenitally joined twins, speaking about them as if they were is silly(I am being nice). Just because Thibs treats them like they are joined at the hip doesn't mean that we have to. Although, I am sure that Noah feels as if boozer is chained to him on D at least.

    On to Rose, the opening of ABC's pregame show said that Rose could hardly walk before Wednesdays game, why the fuck did he play, somebody needs to have their heads and their asses examined. This appears to be at least the second time(Hamiltion at Detroit) that a player played a game that was unnecessary and will end up costing the team potential significant additional lost time.

    This is another example of the Thibs Marine Corps drill seargent routine hurting the team, and something that may someday cost us a championship if he doesn't change/evolve.

    As an aside, how great is it that the Knicks have won 5 straight with Carmelo and that piece of STAT out and a 3 time loser(J Lin)starting and leading them. WWMS, what would mappy say now.

    Also, shows how little NBA people, management and coaches know about evaluating players, everybody including the Knicks wanted to cut t his guy without ever giving him a chance to play.

    With Rose out, this should be a good measure of how good the rest of the supporting cast is, are they even playoff caliber?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree about the player evaluation. I guess if they get 50-60% right, they are probably really smart. We have to give kudos to GarPax on hitting right on so many players( Noah, Rose, Deng, Taj, Asik, even Ben Gordon) and also Sam Presti of OKC(Durant(although that was no choice), Westbrook, Harden(great pick), Ibaka, Collison etc..).

    I don't think any other franchise has hit on so many good players in a span of 4-5 years...no wonder both teams are doing well.

  • Bulls losing early, is it time to start the "its boozer's fault" comments yet?

    Bulls coming back thanks in part to boozer, yes that boozer lol.

  • Not a "all star" start for deng today. 0-4 shooting and bad defense. rondo took it to the basket like if deng wasn't even there.

  • No Rose, it's going to be tough, but I still think they can pull it out.

  • I predict JL3 will win the Bulls an important playooot ff game. He is not afraid to shoot like Korver or Brewer. Obviously, he sucks most of the time. But if ith Rose and CJ are struggling with their shot, he can be our JJ Barea.

  • Halftime, it looks like the Bulls do not have enough talent(minus Rose), to get over the hump against this team.

    Kind of hard to believe on a team with 2 All Stars, 3 if you count Rip(once you make the game once, you are always an All Star, right).

  • Garnett is a dirty player...no wonder Noah talked about it. Asik is the only guy on the Bulls who can set a hard pick on Garnett.

  • Bulls playing against a good team are not looking good again even tho they're still in the game at the start of the 3rd qt. Back to the same ole not enough offense without Rose against a good team. Look for a Bulls loss... hope I'm wrong.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Well it's never a surprise to me if the Bulls lose to a good team without Rose. I mean it's not surprising to lose teams to good teams on the road period, but when you're missing the MVP it makes the odds all the more likely.

    That said, I still like the Bulls odds despite trailing by four at the moment near the end of the third.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Just saying Doug, it is what it is, even with Rose the Bulls has had a tough time beating good teams.

  • Does anyone know what brand of paint Boozer's been using on his hair? My guess is Benjamin Moore.

  • Though I'll give Lucas this, when the team foolishly leaves him wide open, he does a nice job knocking down shots.

  • Bulls need to just survive this stretch with Lucas in the game, and we'll see if they can make a late run. Lucas just missed Noah wide open under the rim for about five full seconds.

  • Lucas definitely lacks in court vision... for a third string point guard he has an awful strong tendency to attempt iso.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Yeah, he has a hard time creating passing lanes because of his small size and mediocre quickness. I think that's one of his problems more so than just the court vision, it's that the defense can really smother him.

    Bulls might want to get him in a few more pick and roll scenarios to help compensate.

  • Bulls keep missing easy opportunities. Down by four, but if it weren't for missed bunnies they'd have already tied the game.

  • Bulls definitely getting some tough bounces, they've established great offensive rebounding position only to see long rebounds go away from them.

  • Ouch, that might be an early set of daggers there. Celtics build the lead back up to 11 knocking down four straight shots.

  • This is pathetic, how many times today have the Bulls committed a turnover trying to get the ball to Boozer in the post? Or Boozer fumbling as he tries to face up?

    This game isn't all on Boozer, but geez, its been happening all game and now halfway through the 4th we see it happen two possessions in a row?

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    You would think that by watching the highlights of this game that we were playing the Heat with all of these fast breaks and easy transition points.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    That's why I've said from nearly day one that boozer is not a low post presence. Something bad(turnover, offensive foul, missed shot) happens 75-80 percent of the time when the bulls try to force the ball into boozer in the post.

  • Stick a fork in the Bulls in this one, the Bulls are done. Two alley oops back to back for the Celtics... come on man!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And Rose having to see a back specialist can't be good.

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    Boozers defense is the worst from any Bull I have ever seen.

  • Bulls can't just leave Paul Pierce wide open for a 14 footer like he's Rajon Rondo. It's stupid to even give Rondo that shot, but it's ridiculous to give that to Pierce.

    Not a real fan of having Boozer in at the end instead of Noah here.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    And who exactly was switched on to Pierce? ...our man, Boozer

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yep

  • Wow, absolute implosion by the Celtics at the end so far. Bulls down by 3 now with 1:45 left.

  • oh my god, Carlos Boozer doesn't see Watson who had leaked out 30 feet ahead on the break for a wide open shot and calls timeouts.

    Uses the last time out and misses the easy basket.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Double Yep

  • oh my god, what a horrible shot there. Watson jacks an off balance fading away, well defended long two pointer. I mean hell, if you're going to take that shot you have to at least get your ass behind the three point line.

  • Good come back but stupid mistakes by Boozer and Watson

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    Boozer and Watson played horrible defense today.

    Watson shooting was awful 23 shots to get 22 points.

  • In reply to James Moss:

    Pretty much whoever was being guarded by Boozer today, whether it be for an extended period of time or a simple switch got great looks all game... or picked up weak fouls.

    With the exception of offensive rebounding this was just a terrible effort all around. The only positive omen I can gather is that even with the Bulls playing terribly on the offensive end, without Rose and Hamilton and committing plenty of stupid turnovers they were almost able to squeak this one out... it took the Celtics shooting 50% and a insane triple double from Rondo to pull off win.

  • Were is our second all star when we need him? in a game were rose couldnt play we needed deng to step up like a all star is suppose to. 3-12 shooting? Really?

    This just shows that deng is a decent player but not an all star caliber player. i apologize to josh smith and rondo, real all star caliber players.

  • In reply to rob32:

    Deng had a poor game shooting the ball, much like the entire team besides Noah... but he played great on Pierce holding him to 9 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound and 4 turnovers.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Pierce also shut down deng. but at least the celtics can go to pierce when they need a shot, the bulls had to go to watson :(

  • In reply to rob32:

    Hate to have to agree, but Deng is not an All Star, he just got the sympathy vote this year because the Bulls record is so good and the rest of the eastern conference is fairly devoid of guys having all star seasons.

  • ok we lost but i love my chigago bulls win or lose. i fucking hate the celtics, really wanted this win but they stayed in the game all the way to the end without mvp derrick rose, get better soon rose.

  • Let's face the facts even with Rose and Hamilton this isnt a championship team by no means. They must make a move for Howard. I would tell Orlando you can have Noah, Boozer, Asik and a draft pick. This team is too slow and soft to win a championship. I have never seen a duo inside the paint that allows rookies, over the hill, unskilled big men look like stars and have espn highlights as the crap we got defending our paint. We are probably the most dunked on team in the league and these bums are making 12 mill + to give 75% effort on a nightly basis.

  • Boozer and watson made some bad plays at the end but without their offensive production(22pts each and noah's 16pts)the bulls dont have a chance at a win. boston blows them out.
    Boozer,watson and noah kept the bulls in the game but none of them are all stars. the bulls needed their all star to come thru at the end but deng couldnt do it. the celtics can go to pierce(a real all star) for a big shot late in a close game because he is capable of creating and making shots. deng on the other hand is just a good role player(not an all star caliber player). deng is not capable of creating and making shots like pierce. all he relys on is open jumpshots and fast break layups.

  • Best part of the game was hearing JVG give boozer shit the entire second half for basically being a lazy peice of crap and making no effort to guard anyone. It is about time somebody actually said so outloud on national TV.

    He pretty much said that whatever offense the Bulls get from boozer is worthless if he plays the rest of the game like that.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I wonder if Thibs told JVG to do this so that Boozer hears it from multiple sources as Thibs message is not going through Boozer. That said, CJ equally screwed up today

  • This was pretty much a team loss.
    Everyone out there bears some of the blame.

    33 - 7 ... against one of the oldest, slowest teams in the league.

    CJ took way too many bad shots today, and really played shoddy defense, which isn't usually like him.

    Brewer was just nearly invisible out there.

    Deng needed to show up today and really really didn't. Surprising.
    He made a couple good defensive plays ... then followed them up with uncharacteristic bad ones.

    Boozer did well on offense, but mainly against subs ... and then did awful on defense. Especially helping to contain Rondo who exploited him time after time.

    Noah played the best among the starters, but even he had several errors ... an unforced turnover ... and another ball go right through his hands.

    Taj and Korver shot horribly out there and didn't do much to make up for it.

    Between Deng, CJ, Taj, and Korver ... some of the worst shooting ... many times on wide open gimme shots ... that I've seen from this team in awhile.

    And yet, through all that, they still had a shot at the end.
    Disappointing, but I guess you can't win them all ... especially without your MVP.

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