The Boston Celtics shook off the effects of their two game loosing streak and defeated the Chicago Bulls 95-91 on Sunday. Rajon Rondo took advantage of the Bulls who were without the reigning MVP, Derrick Rose, and triple doubled with 32 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds.
Boston never trailed in this game but it was anything but a dominating victory.
Throughout the game Boston inched close to pulling away but the Bulls would continuously hit a big shot or force turnovers to keep the game within shouting distance. The Celtics led by as many as 14 (the largest lead of the game) with just under 5 minutes left to play. The usually savy Boston crowd began chants of “Scal-a-brini” calling for the “White Mamba” to take the TD Garden floor as they thought the game was in hand.
The Bulls had other designs and forced Boston to use their kung fu grip to hold off a late run that brought Chicago as close as two. The Bulls stayed in the game by exposing the Celtics weak interior and grabbing 15 offensive rebounds which lead to 20 second chance points.
The Celtics needed every ounce of Rondo’s monster triple double as Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were both off their games scoring just 20 combined points on 7-19 shooting. Team green’s bench was equally as putrid with the exception of JaJuan Johnson.
The former Purdue standout continues to impress with the minutes he has been awarded scoring 12 points and playing a bench high 33 minutes. It’s a shame his extended play is only coming as result of multiple Celtics injuries as Jermaine O’neal (day to day) and Brandon Bass (out for a week) both missed the game.
Even though the win was much needed some luster is taken off when certain things are put into perspective.
Chicago was playing the final game of their season long 9 game road trip and they were playing without Rose. C.J. Watson started in place of Rose and scored 22 points while handing out 6 assists but he was an inefficient 8-23 from the floor.
Clearly the Bulls missed their leader in this one.
Where Boston won the game was in their quick tempo which was keyed by Rondo’s aggressive attack. The Celtics had a season high 33 fast break points which was “Unceltic” in a good way.
Doc Rivers who was exasperated by the Celtics last effort in Toronto said “I thought we played at a better pace today. You could see it: we were trying to run today and that’s how we have to play. If we didn’t turn the ball over we would’ve had far more points.”
What’s not clear is if this is how the Celtics will continue to play. Running certainly suits the game of Rondo but Doc will have to look to his bench to make sure the rest of the Celtics can keep up.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com