In a season where the Chicago Bulls looked horrible and at times unwatchable, losing by 20 in a home elimination game was a very fitting end to this season.
The first half was not so bad as Chicago battled against a Celtics team that was clicking on all cylinders on offense. Couple that with bad Bulls defense and it was very easy for the Celtics to score. For example, there was a sequence where Boston ran the same exact play two different times (A Gerald Green curl) and got two dunks from those resulting plays. The Celtics shot 58% from the field in the first quarter and that success continued for much of the game. Boston also continued to be on fire from three as the Bulls “make the opponent miss open threes” defensive strategy didn’t work as expected. The Celtics hit 9 three’s in the first half. If not for Jimmy Butler’s 17 points, this would have been have been a blowout at the end of the first half with a score of 54-41.
Things took a turn for the absolute worst in the third quarter with Boston exploding right past the Bulls. This was another worrying trend for Chicago that came back to take them out of the game and that was the slow starts in the 1st and 3rd quarter. But out of all the games to come out flat, this was the one that you didn’t want. Chicago looked defeated and out of answers offensively as the Celtics continued to pick Chicago around on the other side of the court. Things got out of hand quickly with Boston going up 20 with around 9 minutes left in the 3rd. The lead quickly ballooned to almost 30 at the end of the third quarter (88-59) as boos rained down in the UC. The 4th quarter was really tough to watch as Fred Hoiberg took out Jimmy Butler, who looked absolutely shattered this whole game. It was basically a whole quarter of watching the Bulls bench vs. the Celtics bench. Many of the fans had emptied out and the ones that had stayed began to voice their displeasure.
Ouch. A "Fire Hoiberg" chant has started at UC.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 29, 2017
In the end, it was just like the Game 6 against the Cleveland Cavaliers two years ago as Chicago got blown out 105-83. Butler led Chicago with 23 points and Avery Bradley led Boston with 23 points as well.
Welp, the season is over and it happened in the most Bulls way possible. Now it’s time to focus on that Summer League Championship!