Well, it’s finally over. The famed winning streak is over. After rattling off 7 (!) straight wins the Chicago Bulls were finally beaten 115-112 in a thrilling game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Chicago had a chance to tie the game but Denzel Valentine’s attempt fell just short to hand the Bulls the loss. You could see this loss coming as the Bulls were playing against one of the top teams in the East and on the second night of a back to back.
Now Chicago faces off against another top team in the Eastern Conference in the Boston Celtics. The C’s come into this game with the best record in the East at 26-9 but are arriving in a mini slump having lost two straight.
They most recently lost 102-93 to the New York Knicks after giving up 34 points in the 4th quarter and allowed Michael Beasley to drop 32 on them. This will be the second time these two teams are meeting in two weeks with Chicago winning the previous matchup by a score of 108-85. It was one of the most shocking wins of the streak as the Bulls walloped Boston and pulled away thanks to a big 2nd quarter.
The key for will be their ability to stop Kyrie Irving, who is on fire at the moment. Irving, who missed the last matchup in Chicago, has scored 30 or more points in three straight games and is showing everyone why he’s a top point guard in the league. Irving uses his skillful handles to get into the lane pretty easily. This creates a fun defensive challenge for Kris Dunn as Irving will surely be one of the toughest tests he has faced this season.
Nobody expected the winning streak to last this long and with it now being over, the focus is back to Chicago at least making games competitive. Let’s hope they can against Boston, a team who is going to be a lot healthier than they were when they came to Chicago 11 days ago. With Irving and Al Horford healthy (Marcus Morris is still out), expect Boston to be heavy favorites in this one. The hope is Chicago can keep it close and interesting to watch.
Game Time: 6:30 PM CT
TV: NBCSN Chicago (CSN Chicago)