[Thanks to Walker for today’s game preview -yfbb]
Game info: Celtics (37-19) @ Bulls (27-29) - 7:00pm on TNT
Celtics: Avery Bradley—Out with an achilles injury
Jaylen Brown—Out with a hip injury.
Gerald Green—Questionable with a heel injury
Bulls: Paul Zipser—Out with an ankle injury
Dwyane Wade—Out with an illness
(Butler and Mirotic are in)
There isn’t a hotter team in the NBA right now than the Boston Celtics, both teams are banged up and are trying to get themselves to into the All Star Break ASAP. Despite Avery Bradley being out for Boston, they’ve been absolutely phenomenal in his absence. The Celtics have won 4 in a row and 12 of their last 13. Boston is a good defensive team but they’re not fantastic, the Bulls are just going to have to figure out where their offense is going to come from when one of their best players is unavailable.
Chicago will have to try and limit Isaiah Thomas on the defensive end and that’s no easy feat. Thomas is averaging just under 30 PPG (29.9) and has been on fire as of late. Thomas is particularly good in the 4th quarter, he averages 10.1 PPG in the games final frame. In order to have a chance to win this game, the Bulls will have to be able to limit Thomas in scoring the ball. The magic number is 30, usually if Thomas is under 30 points than the Celtics lose.
Offensively, Jimmy Butler is going to have to carry the load tonight with Dwyane Wade out. He will have to do more than just score, he needs to be able to create for others. Rondo could have a nice game by creating looks for other players, but that’s about all he is useful for anymore. This is a bad matchup for Chicago tonight and a lot of things are going to happen in order for the Bulls to win this game.
I don’t think that the Bulls can put together all of the moving parts in order to win the game but I think that it will be a lot closer than you might think.
Betting Line—Bulls by 1
My Pick—Celtics by 6