The Celtics have struggled to start this hype-filled season, but Wednesday night’s game against the hurt/bad Bulls gave them a good opportunity to get right. It took a quarter as the Bulls actually grabbed a five-point lead after a hideous first frame (they led by as many as eight), but then the Celtics’ good players remembered they’re good and the Bulls stayed awful in a 111-82 shellacking.
Jabari Parker got the Bulls off to a nice start with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the first quarter, but as was indicative of this entire game, he finished with 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting and five turnovers. There were also a few more additions to the Jabari Parker Loafing Lowlight Reel, so basically this was your pretty standard fare.
The Bulls’ offense was poor all night, but they were especially bad in a second quarter that effectively decided this one. They had more turnovers (seven) than field goals (five) and couldn’t get anything easy against an elite Celtics defense. This is no surprise, mind you, but that didn’t make it any easier to watch.
Meanwhile, the Celtics finally started to knock down some outside shots. They hit six 3-pointers in the quarter en route to a 32-11 advantage in the frame and a 16-point halftime lead. Boston quickly pushed its lead to 25 points before one last Bulls push at the end of the third quarter got the margin to 15, only for things to get really ugly in the fourth quarter. There was a lot of bad Antonio Blakeney, and that’s all you really need to know.
There’s almost nothing to take away from this game. The Bulls were thoroughly outgunned and had no chance once the Celtics found any semblance of a rhythm. Shaq Harrison showed some flashes with aggressive defense (four steals) and a career-high 16 points off the bench, but that’s about it.
Also, RIP to Zach LaVine’s 20-point streak as it ends at 14 games to start this season. LaVine had another tough shooting night with 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting, and he was frustrated with some no-calls on drives to the basket, even picking up a technical in the first half. He did have nine rebounds and four assists, but he also had four turnovers as the Bulls racked up 22 giveaways. The Bulls shot sub-40 percent and made only seven triples to 15 for the Celtics, who had six players score in double figures.