Tip: 8PM Court: United Center Watch it: CSN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Jason Phillips, Violet Palmer and Leon Wood
Get your tickets here: Boston Celtics Tickets
The Celtics beat Chicago, 101-95, back on November 12. Rajon Rondo ripped the Bulls to shreds with a 20 point, 9 rebound, 10 assist performance.
Get it to: Rajon Rondo
While Rajon Rondo generally has big games vs Chicago, he’s been bleeding turnovers lately. 14 in the past two games and 33 over the past 6. His 3.9 TO per game mark is the highest of his career. While the return of Kirk Hinrich bolsters an already strong Bulls defense, there is one chink in the armor – in transition (27th in the league). For the Celtics to win, Rajon needs to push the tempo and penetrate in the half court, forcing Chicago’s bigs to rotate out of position.
Gotta stop: Luol Deng
I almost always pick Carlos Boozer or Joakim Noah as the guys to stop, but tonight I’m going with Deng. Why? Because I remain extremely concerned about Paul Pierce’s mobility. If we get the lead-footed Truth in this game, Deng could feast. One bright note – Luol is shooting just 28% from three.
The Wild Card: Jeff Green and Co.
The Bulls are playing well – defensively. They’re 7-3 in their last ten, mainly because they’re holding opponents to 86.5 ppg over that stretch. Boston needs offense from everyone (yes, I’m talking to you Jeff Green and Courtney Lee/Jason Terry). Aside from Nate Robinson, Chicago’s second unit is full of brick-layers. The Celtics second unit needs to score. How’s that for analysis?
How we see it goin’ down
The Celtics were embarrassed by Houston and San Antonio over the weekend. Doc Rivers called out their conditioning and said the team took a collective step back. And worst of all, I’m starting to lose faith in Banner 18. Now don’t jump up my ass for writing them off, because I’m not doing that. I’m simply starting to wonder if they have “it” this year. I’m hopeful they’ll take heed at the criticism and respond with a strong effort.