Before tonight's potential playoff matchup against the Bulls, I thought it'd be fun to check out what the other side was thinking going into the game. Interestingly, Bulls bloggers seem to be concerned in different areas than most teams are. Here's what sin of Blogabull has to say:
Most teams walk into the Garden having to worry about how they are going to be able to stop Rajon Rondo. Lucky for us, we have Derrick Rose to balance out what Rondo can do. What other fun match-ups are ahead? There's Boozer playing against Garnett. We know Garnett loves to be dirty and has no problem throwing those elbows and cheap shots at smaller players, but I dare him to pull that with Boozer. Here's a question to ponder: Would you sacrifice another two months of Boozer for a broken KG face? I would…CAUSE WE HAVE TAJ ANYWAYS!!
Breaking-KG's-face joke aside, they bring up a good point. I don't love Rose — I think he has some focus issues that Rondo doesn't — but he's essentially a mirror image of Rajon, right down to the lousy shot.
The rest of the match-ups may not look so favorable. I felt we lucked out last time we played Boston, in that we caught them on that stretch without Shaq in the lineup. Tonight, that won't be the case. As shown in the playoffs last year as well as two nights ago, Noah can have trouble guarding some of these bigger guys. While Noah does a good job on them, really it's going to matter what team the three guys in grey and black are betting on to decide whether we win that center match-up. At the small forward position they have Paul Pierceagainst [I'm assuming this is a disappearing-Deng joke? -ed]. The most worrisome, and especially this year where we have been killed by the rain of threes every game, is Ray Allen. I'm going out on one of those Chris Broussard limbs and say I think Ray Allen hits a few open threes on us tonight. As far as the benches: While our bench is now bolstered by Taj sliding in, I would still give the edge to theirs.
Interesting that Noah/Shaq is in a way considered a mismatch in our favor. I don't know Noah to the degree that sin does, but I can't imagine he'll have too much trouble covering the Big Aristotle. He's also an outrageously good rebounder — beyond just size. He has a knack for the ball, and his hustle should make up for Shaq's girth.
I'm glad Ray scares them, and really he should scare anyone. I don't know anybody that shuts Ray down other than himself. Sometimes his shot's off — but he always gets open and gets attempts.
Tonight should be a great game — Celtics/Bulls is one of the best matchups in the NBA right now.