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Bulls vs. Celtics game preview and thread: not in the face!

The Bulls look to erase their home opener dud

Boston Celtics v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Bad schedule, bad! The Bulls, who did get a rest day after the back-to-back ending in a throttling at the hands of the Cavs, remain at home but have to host the Celtics. The Celtics are the Eastern Conference’s only 3-0 team, and had an identical rest schedule with the Bulls.

There’s been a lot of consternation out there about several weaknesses in this Bulls roster that anybody could logically figure out would persist as problems considering there has been no meaningful upgrade in a year.

I do wonder if DeRozan simply saved their ass in Washington we’d all be feeling a lot different...or maybe we’d still feel it, just not talk about it as much.

One big problem is the 3 point shooting:

Another is the power forward position. Not one but two beat writers have dipped their toes into the ‘give coach advice’ waters to say after three games (and a seemingly very significant exhibition game against Bucks 3rd stringers?) that Patrick Williams should be benched in favor of Javonte Green.

Now, neither Williams nor Green are particularly good at either ‘3’ or ‘D’, and that’s kind of the role required when surrounded by DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic. But one thing Green does that Williams doesn’t is...stuff. Like, Green actually moves his body when he’s on the court and someone else has the ball.

There are parallel tracks the Bulls are trying to operate over: Williams is a lottery pick (saying ‘number four overall’ kind of inflates things, it was a cruddy draft) and yes perhaps playing against more second-stringers (usually his time to shine) and having more on-ball opportunities will aid his development. But the Bulls have to try and win games now, in this DeRozan All-NBA window.

And the biggest concern to me with Williams isn’t that the role asked of him is not suiting his “strengths” (which have proven to be...what, exactly?). It’s that in the role required with the starters he can’t be better than Javonte Green. That’s a very bad floor to start projecting his career as a player.

No word yet on if there will be a lineup change heading into tonight’s game. It probably doesn’t matter much: this game will be close only if the Celtics play poorly. It can happen, for whatever reason Jayson Tatum in particular stinks on United Center ice. But I don’t think it’ll be because of whatever the difference is between Williams or Green guarding him.

Injury Report:

Nobody knows with Zach LaVine. He’s not on the injury report, nothing is wrong, there’s no minutes restriction...but he just may not play some nights. It sucks!

Alex Caruso is probable with hamstring and calf issues. He’s hard pail lunch hat, so he’s gonna play.

For the Celtics, nobody on the report outside of those who had offseason knee surgery.

Game Time: 7pm central, NBC Sports Chicago