Game Thread: Bulls @ Celtics 11.03.2016

Game Thread: Bulls @ Celtics 11.03.2016
Dwyane Wade takes a shot during the second half against the Celtics in the season opener at the United Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)

If you're a Chicagoan, or anyone with an affiliation to Cubs baseball, the Bulls trekking to Boston on a Wednesday evening for game four of the regular season may seem highly trivial at present.

By chance, if watching guys occasionally run around something resembling diamond buried within sand isn't your thing, the Bulls facing the Celtics in an early season rematch should have you covered.

Searching for their fourth consecutive win to start the season, a feat not accomplished since the 1996-97 season, the Bulls will need to replicate their game-plan from last weeks win by dominating the boards and producing second-chance opportunities for the offense.

Winning the rebounding battle will be made somewhat easier with the omission of Celtics center Al Horford, who will miss the game after copping a blow in practice, causing concussion. Horford, the Celtics' prize free agency acquisition, will be sorely missed, though perimeter defensive ace Marcus Smart will make his season debut after overcoming an ankle injury.

The Bulls, too, will have their own injury concerns. Michael Carter-Williams, who sustained a knee injury in the blowout win against the Brooklyn Nets, will miss tonight, as well as the next month, at minimum. Doug McDermott will also be out for the Bulls. Having gone through the concussion protocol himself, McDermott was unable to pass  a fitness test prior to the game commencing, a process mandated by the league in order to be cleared for tonight's game.

While injuries may play a part in determining the eventual victor, should the Bulls continue their rebounding dominance and terrific ball movement, they will have a serious chance at maintaining their current winning ways.

Collecting three consecutive wins to begin the season may not have been unfathomable when looking at the schedule, but the manner in how the Bulls have been winning, to a degree, has been a surprise. The shooting has been blistering and the overall offense is humming along the top of league rankings in offensive rating after one week of NBA action. The passing has been brilliant, with the majority of the Bulls' field goals being assisted, a sign of chemistry, cohesion and quality coaching.

So long as the defense and rebounding maintains -- which should be possible against a poor rebounding team like the Celtics -- the Bulls will be able to convert defensive stops into efficient transition scores and methodical halfcourt sets, which has been the highlight of the young season to date.

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  • Too much Cubs to catch this one. Any insights?

    Big test coming up Friday against that Warriors-like super team in NY.

  • Great win last night, one of the most exciting games I've ever seen....too bad it wasn't Da Bulls. I tried to go back and forth but definitely watched the Cubbies a lot more. Good to see they were able to come back and make it a game. Really surprised McD was hit so hard the other night he couldn't play but he was missed. Glad to hear MCW injury wasn't worse. Love having those long play making PGs. Sure the shooters like it as well. Rondo sometimes is sloppy trying to set players up but I'd much rather see that than what Rose often brought to the table.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Rose is putting up decent numbers but the Rose of old isn't coming back. The knock on him in NYC is that he doesn't make his teammates better. Jo isn't producing at all.

  • Rose didn't take care of his body and from all that we hear from him, he's lacking in moral character that our children and community has no use for. Trading him was good a good thing and timely. NY may repeat action soon because he doesn't make the players around him better.
    The Bulls must stick to the winning formula. They must have consistent 3 point performance for the Alpha's to attach and get fouls in the paint. Hoiberg must also recognize any player with a hot hand while allowing players to get experience and playing time.
    The diversity of the team can be an advantage if Hoiberg takes note of the strengths of his bench.

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