A statement from Isaiah Thomas: pic.twitter.com/ZkcvTpQ4oq
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 19, 2017
The Chicago Bulls went into Boston and did the unthinkable. They won both games on the road, and now go back to Chicago up 2-0. The reasons? Let’s start with former Celtic Rajon Rondo, who is doing what made him successful during his NBA career. He is getting everybody involved (10 apg); he is rebounding the basketball (8.5 rpg), and doing a little scoring (11.5 ppg). To think, Rondo was very close to being let go in January after five straight DNP-CDs. Also, Jimmy Butler has proven that he is the best player in this series. 30 points in game one (23 in the 2nd half), and 22 points in game two. I’m sure many Celtics’ fans would love to have Butler in Beantown. Maybe the main reason why the Bulls are up 2-0 is their work on the boards. The Bulls have killed the Celtics on the glass. After two games, the Bulls are plus 22 on the glass, including 20 offensive rebounds in game one. The main reason for that is Robin Lopez (9.0 rpg).
While Isaiah Thomas has played well in the first two games, something seems to be missing from him and the team. Thomas was visibly upset before game one after the death of his sister Chyna. Emotionally, after two games, it does not seem like the Celtics are all there. You wonder how Thomas will be mentally after visiting his grieving family in Washington “This has been without question the hardest week of my life,” Thomas said in a statement Wednesday. Thomas traveled to Washington Wednesday morning, and will re-join the team in Chicago. Will he come back inspired, or emotionally drained?
Are the Celtics done? I won’t say that. The Bulls were 41-41 in the regular season, so it is not like they are a great team. It would not surprise me one bit if Boston went into Chicago and won games 3 and 4. The last number one seed to be down 0-2 in the first-round were the 1993 Phoenix Suns, who were down 0-2 to the 8th seeded Lakers. However, the Suns were able to come back and win the series in five.
In order for the Celtics to make this a series, they are going to have to rebound better, defend better (Bulls avg 108 ppg in series), and Boston will need to play with a sense of urgency.
If they don’t do the above things, they might just get swept. At that point, they would most definitely go down as the worst number one seed of all-time.
I think the Celtics will get this series back to Boston, but will lose in six.