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In The Grindhouse: Bulls Chew Up Celtics 90-79

 

ESPN Box ScoreBy The HornsBlog-A-Bull

Tonight’s moral victory: at least nobody else got hurt.

The Bulls’ potent defense ground down a gassed Celtics team playing its fifth game in seven nights. In fact, but for the Bulls committing 21 turnovers, this game wouldn’t have been as close as it was. The Celtics got crushed on the boards (47-28), recorded a paltry 12 assists and had 9 shots blocked (and many others altered) in dropping to 28-8 on the season.

MVP candidate Derrick Rose outplayed Rajon Rondo by scoring 36 points, including 19 trips to the free throw line (the Celtics had 22 attempts as a team).

(Rondo did finish with a solid line of 13 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals)

In the frontcourt, Carlos Boozer humiliated Glen Davis on both ends of the floor, exposing Baby’s shorter stature on defense and forcing him into miss after miss on the offensive end. Davis finished 4-17 and played the entire evening in a cone of frustration. Kevin Garnett was sorely missed tonight.

More later, including some positive thoughts on taking this one with a grain of salt and some worrying ones on why it’s the Bulls, not the Heat or the Magic, that present the most frightening matchup for the C’s come the Eastern Conference playoffs.

  • I_Love_Green

    And this is why we love KG.

  • Zee

    We lost tonight because:

    1. Glen Davis kept shooting out of range, which is basically the same as an automatic turnover.

    2. Davis' confidence level went down due to missing shots, even his easy layups. As well, Boozer was too much to handle – both ways.

    3. Rose kept trying to make it to the line instead of trying to make real shots. We fell for it (like idiots) every time! He got EVERYONE in foul trouble. We got beat at the line.

    4. We didn't find a rhythm because we were continually at the line with the Bulls. Our offense was struggling. We didn't get stops. Everytime we turned around, Rose was bombarding into people get fouls called against us.

    5. Rondo not attacking the basket and worrying too much about his assist numbers. I realized that tonight when instead of making the easy 2, he gave it to Ray.

    6. Bad or no calls by the refs; inconsistency. They called an elbow on Boozer agaisnt Glen, but the second time when it happened and bust Glens mouth open (with blood), they didn't even call it.

    7. Not going to our shooters. It seemed like we forgot what worked against the Spurs. We won that game because Ray was hitting 3's. Why weren't we going to Ray AND Paul tonight?

    8. Shaq and Jermaine missing easy shots as 7 footers. Unacceptable. They lack explosion like Bosh and Bynum.

    9. Minimum offensive rebounds. We shoot one shot and run down the court way too much.

    THINGS THAT CONCERN ME:

    1. Bulls didn't even have Noah in this game! But neither did we have KG (Perkins and West). Yet, the Bulls will be a real contendor in the playoffs.

    2. If we are gonna trade, we need to do it now. I like Jermaine, Harangody and that one other kid (played last few minutes of the TO game), but we need some additional aggressors on the floor who really know how to score and rebound.

    There is more, but I'll leave it at that.

    *typed on my phone, so pardon any errors. Thanks!

    • Ryan DeGama

      Good stuff Zee. Will be touching on much of this come the full recap.

      • Zee

        Thanks Ryan!

  • His Regginess

    Let's not get carried away anointing the Bulls the Celtics' biggest Eastern threat, come playoff time — that's a foolish exaggeration. Sure, the Bulls are a nice team, and they're enjoying a good season. We know they pose a threat to the C's, given 2009 — albeit, that was a somewhat different Bulls team, and KG was injured. Nonetheless, these guys are not in a class with Miami, or even Orlando. They're a young, very inconsistent team. I just saw them get their butts kicked last night in Philadelphia, on a night the Sixers (!) were playing without Andre Iguodala. The Bulls' offense down the stretch was totally incoherent, and their defense broke down time and again. Sure, they match up well with the Celts — Rose handed Rondo his butt tonight, Deng always does a nice job on Pierce, Noah combines some of the virtues of KG with some of the virtues of Baby, and Booze was killing us. But the idea that these guys are a bigger threat to the C's title shot than the Heat, who've only lost once in their last twenty one games, and have LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, is laughable. The only way you'd think that is if the only Heat and Bulls games you watch are the ones they play against the Cs. Yes, the Bulls are a relatively tougher matchup for the Cs than they are to for other teams, and the Heat less so. But the matchup difference just doesn't make up the huge chasm between the overall quality of those two teams.

    • Zee

      Agreed. The Bulls didn't beat us tonight. We beat ourselves by making poor decisions – mainly two. 1) Allowing Davis to remain in the game and shoot up turnovers (one being an air ball). 2) Fouling Rose continually and not realizing what his game plan was. Most of his points were made at the line. Inexcusable. It was a calculated effort on the Bulls part.

    • Zee

      To be fair, Rose didn't hand Rondo his butt tonight. All he did was try to draw the file, which he admitted in an interview after the game. It was evident. I saw it and knew it all game. Did Doc though??? He should've told them to just stand their with their hands up. He would get a charge call. He probably did, because Jermain did it, but was too afraid to take the charge (you can't do that on defense).

      If anyone got their butt handed to them, it was Davis by Boozer.

      • Zee

        Typo above: "draw the FOUL."

    • His Regginess

      And, in the meantime, let's not slight the Magic, either, who have been conference finalists three straight years (including an NBA Finals appearance), have won 9 straight in the recent aftermath of their big trades, and beat the Celtics on Christmas when KG was *in* the lineup. The Bulls aren't even a totally safe bet to make it out of the first round — they've already been beaten by the Knicks twice (against whom they're 0-2, and have already lost the season series). They've yet to play the Hawks this season, but their record isn't perceptibly better than Atlanta's right now, and Atlanta's dealt with its own injury issues.

      • His Regginess

        Good point on Rose/Rondo, Zee; I mostly agree. So I'll retract my previous comment! That said, Rondo did clearly get outplayed. He didn't do a very good job staying in front of Rose, and I felt like he could've done better fighting through picks. (Obviously it hurt that Rose shot the ball fairly well from outside tonight. He's inconsistent (but getting rapidly better) in that respect.) On the offensive end, Rondo seemed to be pressing more than usual, passing up shots he should have taken, and taking shots he shouldn't… possibly trying to match Rose. Rondo normally doesn't shoot so much from the floor, and, when he does, he usually shots a much higher percentage. Of course, it hurts Rajon's team game when the rest of the guys are tired. Thibs clearly has a good grip on the C's offense, and there just weren't many openings for our tired players. With better health, we might be able to beat them up much more in the post (Perk, JO, and Shaq together are a lot of size the Bulls don't have) and guys like Delonte can provide some scoring and rest for PP and Ray off the bench. Still, the postseason should be fun! I think a Bulls-Knicks 1st Round series would be really entertaining.

        • http://www.azizpbrimah.com Zee

          You make a good point. If anyone should know our gameplans, it would be our former assistant coach who now coaches the Bulls.

        • http://www.azizpbrimah.com Zee

          Then again, we beat them the first two times. They didn’t have Boozer. And now they didn’t have Noah. But, we had our own key missing links.

          Just glad KG is back Monday! :)

    • koolaid

      i agree with Ryan that the bulls are a legit threat in the east. i have/had them at the top of the list, but the magic trade also puts them back on the map in my books. the heat don't have the depth for the playoffs IMO.

      i was really surprised how easily the celtics dismantled the bulls in the garden last month. sure, it was still early days with booz but they had everyone healthy, and it was a complete beating put on them by the celtics.

      not concerned about this loss, Cs are the better team…. will take the bulls more seriously if they actually get a legit SG.

  • Jim

    Big Baby taking seventeen shots was the end of us having any chance on winning this one. Boozer made him look really bad on both ends of the court. It seems like every time Baby touched the ball he took a shot from way too far out. Rose made Rondo look bad tonight. Getting Garnett back will solve a lot of the problems. I am not saving this one on the DVR!

  • Zee

    To add to the discussion. Getting in foul trouble ALSO ruins an offensive rhythm because you can't keep a consistent lineup in the game. You keep having to sub people out so they foul out. We weren't allowed to find a comfortable space at any time.

    I actually have to take my hat off to the Bulls on this one. They found a weak spot >>> early foul trouble with an aggressor (Rose) and a mismatch (Davis vs Boozer).

  • http://justbasketballdefense.com/ basketball defense

    Great work! I also have my own blog I just realize its tough to create top quality articles this way.

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