Did you really expect anything different?
The Bulls didn’t mail in Wednesday’s game against the Celtics, at least not in terms Billy Donovan’s rotation decisions. Alex Caruso was held out, but Zach LaVine was back in the lineup and Donovan treated this like a normal game. Well, it certainly was a normal game in that the Bulls got absolutely embarrassed again by an East contender, barely showing a lick of competitiveness in a 117-94 loss.
The Celtics destroyed the Bulls from the start, going up 31-14 nine and a half minutes into the game. Chicago’s bench showed a little bit of fight to get the deficit down to 37-30 early in the second quarter, but Boston picked things up again with a dominant two-way performance to get it to 67-51 at halftime. The third quarter was a total mess as the Celtics blew the game wide open, with the second half effectively turning into 24 minutes of garbage time.
Boston put on a clinic offensively, shooting 48.9% from the field (57.8% in the first half), 17-of-37 from 3-point range and racking up 29 assists (20 in the first half). About the only things that went wrong for the Celtics was bad shooting from the foul line (14-of-22) and another weirdly awful Jayson Tatum shooting night (5-of-18) against the Bulls (he’s randomly just terrible against them), but Tatum’s passing was on point as he nearly notched a triple-double. Jaylen Brown led five Celtics in double figures with 25 points, while Al Horford and Daniel Theis both thoroughly outplayed Nikola Vucevic down low. The Daniel Theis trade exception was unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, the Bulls’ starters were all mostly terrible. DeMar DeRozan started hot but cooled off and finished with 16 points to lead the way, though for some reason he played into the fourth quarter and wound up with 33 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back for zero reason. Vucevic needed 13 shots to get 13 points and fumbled at least three passes in the opening quarter, setting the tone for another awful night. Did the Monstars steal this guy’s powers?
LaVine was a train wreck in his return to the lineup, clearly laboring on both ends of the court. He had seven points on 2-of-9 shooting and 0-of-5 from 3-point range in his 27 minutes. Good thing he played to get a rhythm.
Patrick Williams’ string of good games came to a close. Williams got in foul trouble early and was a total nonfactor on either end.
About the only cool thing from this game was this dope Javonte Green block:
The Bulls are now 45-35 and 1.5 games behind the Raptors for the No. 5 seed. The regular-season home finale is up next on Friday against the Hornets.