The Bulls face the Celtics in Game 6 of their playoff series tonight. And though it’s at the United Center, it’s not looking good for the team that’s lost three straight games.
Worse yet, as speculated yesterday, Jimmy Butler is indeed hurting:
Hoiberg said Butler "is going to battle" but only "did a little" at shootaround. Rondo out and unlikely to play Game 7.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 28, 2017
And you can see there it wont’ be a Game 6 comeback for Rajon Rondo, though it certainly was
a well-placed leak fun reporting that he really wanted to suit up with a broken thumb.
It's tough. We're asking guys to play roles they haven't played all year. Dwyane hasn't played point guard really since his first couple years in the league. He's done most of his damage off the ball. Isaiah is more of an off the ball guy. That's the role that he's played pretty much since he got in this league.
We had Paul Zipser bringing the ball up the floor in the last game for a short stretch, which wasn't real pretty, but he didn't turn it over and he did initiate the offense. But we're asking guys and we're putting them in positions where they haven't been. And we're trying to simplify things and get into our actions where we can get a quality possession.
This is also a pretty hilarious shot at the front office, considering he didn’t mention the three point guards that they acquired this season in his lament over the lack of a point guard.
Speaking of, if there was a belief that playoff experience, in and of itself, would be a benefit to the young Bulls, I’m not sure that’s proven to be the case.
- The aforementioned Grant, MCW, and Payne have been totally marginalized after being awful. Denzel Valentine is the only other Bull besides Payne who can’t even see the court.
- Bobby Portis had one great game, and since then has gotten 16 points on 16 shots in over 61.5 minutes
- Cristiano Felicio in his 77 total minutes this series has 19 points and 15 fouls, turning the ball over 27% of the time he gets it
- Nikola Mirotic has a playoff PER of 9.4. Paul Zipser is even worse at 9.2
I suppose maybe it was a benefit to determine that these young guys are definitely not ready, and potentially never will be.
This is shaping up to be a similar season-ender to the nut-kicking that was the 2015 playoffs finale, another Game 6 lay-down at home. Maybe this team indeed has more resilience (or the Celtics aren’t the LeBron-Cavs and can’t step on their throat), but it’s feeling like tonight’s the end.