The Eastern Conference first round series between the #1 seed Celtics and #8 seed Bulls will be heading back to Boston tied at two as the Celtics beat the Bulls in Chicago last night 104-95.
I was at the game last night, so I got to see first hand just how much the Bulls are missing Rajon Rondo. We started Jerian Grant, who quickly showed that he has nowhere near what it takes to be a starting point guard in the playoffs at the moment. We tried MCW for a little bit, who turned out to not be any better than Grant (although he did look like he was competing, as he got into a couple verbal altercations with multiple Celtics, mainly Isaiah Thomas). We even brought in ISAIAH CANAAN, who I originally thought had no business being on the floor in a playoff game, but managed to hold his own and have a half decent game. But we don’t need point guards who have half decent games, we NEED point guards who can take it to the other team on the offensive end while at the same time guard Isaiah Thomas, who has proven himself even more after the tragic death of his sister, scoring 33 points and dishing out 7 assists in the Celtics win.
Both during and after the game, the two teams had their share of words for each other. Multiple technicals were given throughout the game, with multiple altercations happening as well (Butler vs Smart, MCW vs Thomas, Lopez vs Crowder). Jimmy Butler spoke about his altercation with Marcus Smart after the game, saying that he is a “great actor. Acting tough is what he does…He’s not about that life.”
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg expressed his complaints about Isaiah Thomas after the game, saying that he is impossible to guard when he is allowed to carry the ball the whole game without getting called for it. Thomas responded by saying that he has been dribbling that way his whole life and has not been called for it once the whole season.
It was a confusing game. It is hard to say if the game was closer than the final score shows or the opposite. We had a great run in the third quarter, but we simply could not guard Thomas or bring the physicality that helped us win the first two games. I do believe that the series will go to 7, but it is going to be interesting to see if the Bulls can find a way to stop Thomas moving forward, because they will not win this series if they don’t.