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Completely Outclassed: Bulls 97 Celtics 81

 

ESPN Box ScoreBy The HornsBlog-A-Bull

No way around it: the Bulls annihilated the Celtics tonight.

The Celtics generated a lot of good looks on the offensive end through 2.5 quarters, but missed an enormous number of shots in the paint (9 in the first half alone). After a brief offensive spurt in the second half where the C’s closed the gap by pushing the ball in transition, the Bulls clamped down on the Boston offense, which was more than willing to go gentle into that good night.

There’s little in the way of obvious silver linings here. Boston’s big four (a collective -34) were taken completely out of their games by Chicago’s defensive schemes, energy and size. Here are the grisly final numbers:

Paul Pierce: 6-13 for 15 points. Also 4 turnovers.

Rajon Rondo: 3-10 for 7 points.

Kevin Garnett: 3-9 for 10 points.

Ray Allen: 3-11 for 7 points.

And, of course, there was the wunderkind Derrick Rose (30 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals), who came as advertised, tearing apart Boston’s defense, setting up his teammates for open shots, and generally just controlling the game on offense. We’ll get into his work in the longer recap, but he murdered Rondo tonight.

So, that’s it for now.

For those of you who missed the game, you can find a dramatic reenactment below. The part of the Chicago Bulls will be played by Charlie Day and Kaitlin Olson will portray the Boston Celtics.

  • someguyinsac

    This is one for the books, the kind you burn.

  • kricky

    Feeling deflated and despondent. Is there anything positive to take out form this? Any microthin sliver of silver lining?

    • Ryan DeGama

      Lemme try: Good shots were generated. They just missed them. That won't happen consistently.

      • MP!

        Agreed. Plus, that wasn't close to the playoff rotations, and in the back of their minds the Celtics knew they didn't really need this game.

        Gonna be a hell of series if we get there.

    • Morpheus

      Delonte looked good. That and we shot 23-26 from the line, to the Bulls 14-15.

  • MP!

    I'm still not worried. But it sucks that it'll be five weeks before we get another chance at them, and the Bulls fans who are already out of control with homerism will be just awful until then.

  • Batman

    Ok guys. Bad game. Great game for the Bulls, especially for the Rose.
    No need to panic, time to carefully breakdown our problems.
    Still….CELTICS!

    • Janos

      what? Is celtics, yes. But not time for capital letters Batman.

      • Batman

        I don't know. I'm frustrated. Give me a break :(

        • Janos

          Me too, my friend.

  • talesofJP

    Nothing good about this game. The Bulls beat the Celtics, and did it with relative ease. The playoffs will be different.

  • Anon

    Tonight's loss is nobody's fault in particular. The entire team just seemed off.

    However, in light of Rondo getting exposed by D.Rose, I'll just cut and paste my comments from two weeks ago.

    "The problem with this team is Rajon Rondo. Put plainly, he can't shoot, and isn't big enough or explosive enough to score at the rim.

    Pat Riley (my least favorite person in basketball) said it best some years ago, during a Knicks-Heat slugfest… "Sometimes it's not about strategy. It's just about putting the ball in the basket."

    And unfortunately, Rajon can't do that enough. Maybe one day he'll develop a consistent jumper, but until then this team is going struggle when his teammates go cold and he has to meander around the perimeter until he heaves up a last second prayer.

    And please… I love Rajon, he's got great court vision, is a first rate defender and can be exceptionally clever with the ball, but stop comparing him to any of the other great PG's in this league. Specifically the next MVP, Derrick Rose."

    • Batman

      WHAT IS WITH THIS RIDICULOUS RONDO HATE?
      Oh when hes going 15 and 15 everyones all like "Oh yeah great, hes the best PG in the NBA"
      Make up your damn minds and frickin stop being hypocrites.
      Rondo is an Elite PG.
      Rose is a better player.
      No one denies theses facts.
      Claiming Rondo isn't an Elite PG makes u one of the stupidest people on earth, or a Bulls fan

      • diehardceltic

        I absolutely agree!! I am so tired of people turning the switch on and off on Rondo!
        But seriously, sometimes he just seems disinterested…..other than that he is LEGIT!!

    • Scott

      ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Rondo absolutely got torched tonight by Rose because he decided he wanted to be better than Rose and out play him. Rondo has to understand his role on this team. How many mother effing lay ups did he miss! Get the team involved, FIND RAY FOR THE LOVE OF JESUS, and win games. Stop trying to be kobe, and play hero ball. The reason we beat san antonio is because Rondo hit jumpers. didnt hit jumpers tonight and we lost… Effing blows.

      FIGURE IT OUT RONDO

    • Andrew

      Anon is absolutely right. The problem I notice can be seen in our 2nd half meltdown in Game 7 of the Finals last June. Yeah we got killed on the boards, okay, but as far as the offense goes, we've been experiencing the exact same problems over the last 15 or so games. Rondo is dominating the ball too much, and as a player who, quite honestly, is not that talented offensively (yeah he's tricky and cute with the ball, but his size is beginning to get exposed and he's been forcing it a little AND MISSING BUNNY LAYUPS LATELY) his domination of the ball is throwing our offense (and our all stars) out of rhythm and this is killing our team. Ray and Pierce and even KG are not getting enough touches/shot attempts and their offensive rhythm is struggling. It's taking Rondo much too long to get into the offensive sets. One thing I'm noticing is that we'll waste 10-12 seconds just getting the ball to Paul or KG in the post, so that there'll be 6 or 7 left on the clock by the time the player even faces the basket. This is bad offense. We also have been lacking in dribble penetration, or we penetrate, get cut off, then have to kick out to the perimeter, which gives us nothing. At other times, Rondo will wait so long that he'll still have the ball outside the 3 point line with 6 seconds on the clock and then he'll have to do one of his hurky jerky dribble moves and eventually go into a half fade away elbow shot, which usually ends up being all rim. What we need from Rondo is more penetration and more attack which is exactly what Derrick Rose does. D. Rose realizes that when his team is struggling offensively, to go to the offensive strengths of team, which is ironically him attacking the basket. This is what Rondo fails to execute on the floor. When we go through offensive struggles, we go away from our strengths. Instead of going to Pierce pick and roll where he can attack the rim and draw contact, freeing ray with good, hard screens, or setting up KG in a post or pick and pop set, we just have more of Rondo dominating the ball. Speaking of which, whatever happened with the Pierce/KG or the Pierce/Rondo, 3/4 or 3/1 pick and roll? You know, the play that won us an NBA Championship. For a team that stresses "moving the ball" and "making the defense react," we've been doing a lot of throwing the ball in the post with 7 seconds left on the shot clock and letting our player go one-on-one. I know doc likes "in-out" basketball, but this new system seems to be all one on one plays late in the shot clock when defenses can collapse on us. What happened to the pick and roll penetration that got Ray and KG great looks at the rim? What happened to simply putting it in Pierce's hands and letting him make the right decision, and not with 5 seconds left on the clock but with time to reset if necessary and NOT FORCE the offense. This offense was built on 2nd and 3rd options, making the extra pass and moving the ball to get great looks and with the way the ball is sticking, with the way Rondo is dominating the ball and getting into our sets and getting the ball into the post so late in the clock, we've really been struggling on the offensive end. And when we finally do try to go to Pierce or Ray, the floor shrinks because of Rondo's inconsistent jumper. Forget inconsistency, the guy just doesn't take them, and nor should he. It's a problem. My ideal lineup (and I love Ray Allen), but my ideal offensive lineup would be D. West, Pierce, Green, KG and an O'Neal. This gives us size, it gives Pierce playing the 2 against a smaller defender, it gives us all shooters on the floor for greet spacing and everyone except an O'Neal can create their own shot. Defensively, we'd be big and tough with O'neal, KG and Pierce and I'm confident that Green (while new to the C's defensive schemes) could do his part against most 3's in the league. And hell, if not, just have Pierce guard the 3 and let Green guard an even smaller 2 guard. Green is quick enough to handle 2's and there will ALWAYS be a mismatch in our favor on the offensive end. I know it's too late this year because it's now Rondo's team as much as anyone's, but RONDO IS THE PROBLEM…stop dominating the ball and let's do the things that won us an NBA championship. Smart basketball, great defense, and all stars putting the ball in the basket. The right way….

      • Zee

        Agreed!

      • Dave from Chicago

        Do you expect anyone to read that?

      • Morpheus

        Spot on, bullseye

    • Jason

      Yeah, I really want to see an end to Rondo dribbling the air out of the ball, starting the offense so late and lethargically and also holding onto the ball for five seconds waiting for someone to get open instead of moving the ball. He has no internal clock. To think that earlier in the year, Rondo was thought to be better than Rose. He looked like a rookie with how badly Rose torched him on both ends.

  • Janos

    Is no more talk about MVP this guy or that guy. Is Rose #1 award.

  • james patrick

    Derek Rose is seriously amazing. He really does deserve the MVP. I think Thibs really shaped that team. I've got nothing bad to say about the Bulls. They beat us handily. I can only hope a healthy Shaq is the difference. I know a healthy Perk would've been, but no sense beating that to death. aughh…. Another test is Miami. We'll get to see how we match up without any inside presence. Hopefully better than tonight.

  • stephen

    Yeah. after this showing tonight I'm certain teams are just shitting themselves at the thought of having to face us in the playoffs. Let;s face some facts here. If we are relying on a 39 year old center to bring this thing together for us we are in serious trouble. I think Doc needs to cut Rondo's minutes big time at this point until the little fucker wants to listen. Play Delonte more–What's the difference at this point? Oh, wait—Right now Delonte is better. I rushed home from work to catch the 2nd half of this shit!!!!

    • Tos

      Me too. Quite disappoiting.

      And why do we keep letting Glen Big Black Hole Davis get the ball so early just to throw up a bad shot… Drives me nuts!

      • Tos

        Spelling FTL

  • Dave from Chicago

    So in boston, is there still talk of Rondo being a better player than Rose? Just asking because….well…. its not even close anymore. See yah in the playoffs!
    (this is not a knock on the celtics, they are a very respected team throughout the league, its just ludacris that you people think Rondo is better than Rose.)

    • Janos

      Why you wait all year and then come to site? I not at Bulls site (is there Bull site?) and say is better than you and no titles?

      • Dave from Chicago

        If the bulls played the celtics everyday I woruld be on here all the time.

        • Mike

          I'm sure you would… Hey when you're winning its easy to run your mouth.

    • Mike

      Rondo is a better point guard than Rose. He's just doesn't know how to score and Rose does. He doesn't play 1 on1 and Rose does. Rose carries his team rondo looks like he's at the spa or something.
      (and I still think Howard is the MVP)

      • Batman

        i don't understand life anymore. Great win for the bulls, great game for Rose.
        Bulls fans- "OMG RONDO SUCKZ THE BIG DICKZ OMG INSULTING HIM MAKES OUR EXSISTANCE WORTHWHILE"
        please there is no need to trash on rondo

        • Mike

          I'm not bashing rondo I just think he could have done more than just walk up the court all the time. Why doesn't he attack the basket? Why doesn't he try to run up court. And if rose in a year developed a shot, why can't rondo. I think people overrate rose too much though. He's a one trick pony in my opinion, you shut him down and the bulls crumble.

          • Tos

            Uh I think Deng and Boozer showed up pretty friggen well pal

  • I_Love_Green

    Bulls just out played us tonight. We didn't look good on either end of the court, and some of that is because of the Bulls, but a lot of it is because of the way we played. There wasn't a lot of ball movement on offense, and when there was, guys weren't even looking for their shots. The defense was really bad tonight, but I fully expect that to be cleaned up when we face them in the ECF. Its gonna be really tough to beat them without home court though.

    • Dave from Chicago

      whoa, wait! All I hear about from Celtics fans is that your team shuts down explosive offenses by having a great defense. Now just because the celtics played a team with just as tight of a D, dont make excuses that your team had a bad shooting day. Every team shoots bad agaisnt the bulls! I wonder why?…

      • Batman

        Dave ROSE SUCKS D OMG RONDO IS SO MUCH BETTER AHHHH HEADBANDS

      • I_Love_Green

        I watched the game. We were missing open shots. Stop being so excited over a regular season win.

        • Dave

          So did the bulls.

  • yordgreat

    im still hoping that there really is a "switch" that this team can turn on come playoff time and was just playing possum tonight….if not..then i guess it's all been a good 4 years run then with at least one title to show better than nothing…

  • Julien the French

    Amazing how many easy layups we missed today. The run the Bulls made at the end of the 3rd starts from one of those missed Boston's unmissable layups, which could have taken the Celtics to only 1 point or so from Chicago. Instead, they missed it, and the bulls answered with an 8-0 run.

    Also, too many turnovers and mistakes due to a lack of focus.

    Last question: the C's are not agressive enough under the basket. I have seen that happening way too much where guys like JO or Krstic miss an easy layup or get rejected, instead of dunking violently and make sure that damn ball gets in. They are too soft sometimes.

    • Dave from Chicago

      its called getting old…

      • Batman

        DAVE LOOK BENNY THE BULL AHHH

        • Mike

          He probably became a ''bulls fan'' last week or so. he doesn't know who benny is

          (and he's probably kobe or the gm under a different name too….)

          • diehardceltic

            I like how the C's fans deal with these irritating outsiders who don't seem to know where their teams blogs are!

      • MP!

        Eff off, bandwagon fan.

  • ElRoz

    KG and Rondo played less minutes than one would expect had Doc cnsidered this game very important. Pierce didn't play high minutes either.
    The Bulls remind me of Cavs last season…working and winning in the regular season. I will not be surprised if Orlando takes them to 7 games…and if Boston wins a series later. This is not the C's effort and energy the Bulls are going to see in the playoffs if the two teams meet. Chicago really wanted this game. Enjoy it Bulls. The C's won by 18 and by 32 in Cleveland last year when the playoffs rolled around.

    • Janos

      Yes, correct. And Rondo have steal today. Everyone make jump on Celtics but they can win just like another team come the playoff time.

  • stephen

    Exactly—Krstic is the Celtics version of Pau Gasol—a marshmellow–Only Gasol is way better. I think this talk of seeing the Bulls again in the ECF is a bit premature, don't you think?

    • Batman

      GASOL IS NOT SOFT
      This theory was disproved in 2009
      He literally took hit for hit against Howard and held his ground.
      Gasol is not soft.

  • james patrick

    Also, I hate to say this but damn the Bulls D looks good. very good. I'm nervous that it wasn't so much bad shooting as it was good D. Gotta stay positive though. Just lock up that #2 seed and let the chips fall where they may!

    We could easily win out the season. two in DC, Miami and NY.

    CELTICS BABY!!!

  • Batman

    What is with this ridiculous assertion that Rondo cannot score?
    The man is a ridiculous finisher around the basket and his jumper is only slightly below average.
    He is a bad free throw shooter, and needs to be more aggressive but jesus stop the blind hate

    • Janos

      Ridiculous can mean different thing to each man. Is good player, yes. Is best player, not always. Jumper can grow to better, no question. He has good playoff match and everyone talk Rondo again. not time to worry.

    • kricky

      I have to give you credit for sticking by RR.

      But lets face the facts: his outside shooting does suck and his finishing is really only slightly above average. Screw the stats. I'm calling it like I see it and I watch every game. Those missed layups early really killed us tonight.

      Doc is right. RR is best when he is pushing the tempo form the get go. Take advantage of his quickness from the minute he gets the ball at the other end of the court. I believe he can do it.

    • Jason

      Only slightly below average? You have very kind grading standards sir. He shoots an awful percentage but what's worse is that he's wide-open, to a degree you only find in youth leagues. The adjusted percentage, for position, for how open he is, for how long he's been in the league and should have improved, is inexcusable.

  • Morpheus

    Highlight of the night, Doc telling Rondo not to walk the ball up the floor, push the tempo on Inside Trax

    • Mike

      Indeed. And you know what when I played in high school if one of us didn't do what coach asked we would be taken out of the game regardless of who it was and time on the clock. What I'm trying to say is this is professional ball why doesnt doc take rondo out if he's not performing? (the same thing goes for davis but I'm not even surprised anymore on that one…)

      • Morpheus

        My coach ripped our hearts out if we didn't listen….he had no patience or tolerance for players not doing what they were coached to do. He pulled out any player including our best, when they weren't performing.

        In Doc's case, he has to pull Rondo if he's not performing, HAS TO. How else is your player going to know that what he's doing is wrong, or that he's not performing up to par. Same with Baby, as we can see Baby is pulling the same BS, but Doc's not doing anything about it.

  • Janos

    Is big night and before game i prepare large bowl of goulash. but i not get to eat unless celtics win by four, cover spread. goulash cold now and in trash with old rat traps. is hungry here but not eat tonight.

    not win. not eat.

    • Dropstep

      LOL nice. +1, indeed. No need to starve now, but if you're fasting in solidarity with the team. Go on. Celtics need to get it together. I still have faith in them but they need to figure out their issues.

    • Traveler

      I love this friggin guy! Janos should have his own column!

  • kricky

    A big problem is we are not getting Ray his shots. Need to fix this problem ASAP!!

    Forget Green. I'd almost be happier seeing Wafer get his minutes. And I'm not kidding.

  • cajungirl

    celtics just got there Asses kicked by the bulls. how shameful.. wow if they continue toplay this way . knocked out in the first round. what happen to the celtics.i sure wish the boys woudl come back i miss them. these clowns who are putting the the celtics uniform on are not the boys. please come back guys. and send these clowns playing now away .cause the ones ou tthere now can't play ball.

  • WTF

    The only thing good to take away is Green is a good post player, but he sucks big time on D. C's interior D degraded a lot since the Perkins trade. Do you think Perk will let Rose twists to the basket without lay a hand on his top? That's what's lacking in C's defense now, physicality. So fxxk you again, Danny.

  • Jason

    The Celtics don't have the bigs to play a championship level defense, meaning protect the basket for 48 minutes and rebounding, with Glen Davis and Krstic having to play minutes. This sucks. The Celtics started with four 7-footers and one big fat dude and now the second big is the big fat dude who can't shoot or rebound. I second the fxxk Danny sentiment.

  • Morpheus

    I'm reserving my judgement on Danny till we get eliminated from the playoffs or we win banner 18.

    If it's the former, he better be prepared for a SHIT STORM.

    • Jason

      If the Celtics get bum rushed from the playoffs by getting killed on the boards and an inability to protect the basket, then I support the idea of Danny getting canned. He was this close to the firing line before he pulled off the duo deals for Allen and Garnett with help from an old buddy and Celtics legend. He's shown himself to be a good drafter and especially one of the best evaluators of second round prospects. But look at his trade history: Ricky Davis, Szerzbiak, Gary Payton. None were very inspiring but this Perkins deal is a rotting corpse on his resume. How about free agency: he did well to sign Posey and House but he's been unable to find Posey's replacement ever since and this off-season was a disaster spent signing unreliable and injury-prone big men. When the Celtics blow it up and start a new chapter, I don't want Danny to lead the franchise.

  • Dropstep

    Again, Krstic needs to give somebody a hard foul. He doesn't need to do it with a chair now, but he has to send a message that he is there. There is no fear of wandering into the lane when he is there. I think he did well on pick/rolls tonight. All the starters were horrible in the second half. I may be wrong but I'm pretty sure Doc never put Delonte into the game in the third quarter. I found that really strange.

    • I bleed Green

      Same here, West should never had been pulled with 5 minutes left in the first half, he was making things happen. And 38 minutes for Ray again? Really? West couldn't have gotten some of those…

  • tom

    reminds me of a loss a few years ago, probably a christmass game in 2009, against LA, they absolutly owned us and then we went on to lose a bunch of games to lesser teams. It seemed like they werent capable of playing at that level, and then ended up coming just short in game 7, so that game didnt say much, as I feel that this one doesnt either. That said, this chicago team is no joke, and its gonna be a tough conference finals, that could go each way but I could also see us rolling over them aswell, we' ll just have to wait and see.

  • Steven

    You said Rose was top 10 in rebounds on ESPN's MVP video. Sorry, he's not even top 40.

    Maybe among guards.

  • Dan

    At least they haven't lost 6 in row. I'd hate to be a fan of those Red So….. oh.

    • Batman

      Mu Hahahahaha As a Celtics fan in NY I am a Yankees fan fools.
      Enjoy your terrible team Boston

  • Herb

    It's remarkable to me how quickly people turn on Danny Ainge; jesus, are the days of Dino Radja and Vin Baker so quickly forgotten? We went from an ABYSMAL franchise in the mid-to-late 90's to a perennial Finals contender in the past few years, but that's not enough? As far as I'm concerned, if the C's never win another one (God forbid, but I'm trying to make a point here), I'll always be grateful to Danny for putting that team together. Winning a championship 3 years ago, making the ECF 2 years ago, and going BACK to the Finals last year should be enough of a good-faith deposit for us to give him a little wiggle room when it comes to some of his decisions. Yes, all the problems this team has right now are frustrating, BUT…in the grand scheme of things, these are good problems to have.

  • Paul

    If the Bulls survive to meet the Celtics in the playoffs, I'm fine with that…

  • jim

    This game we were out coached and out played. Without a big body in the middle like Perk we just got carved up. Big Baby could not block a Lepracauns shot never mind most NBA players. He plays too many minutes because we have no size. I think we go as far as the second round without Shaq. If he is not healthy by then we are doomed. I think we play way better with Delonte on the floor. He can at least shoot . I am depressed.

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