Celtics-Bulls Preview

Boston Celtics Status Check:
Record: 12-11
Division: 2-4
Conference: 7-8
Road Record: 4-7
Last 10 Games: 5-5
Streak: Lost 2
Last game: 103-88 loss to San Antonio
PPG: 97.4 (12th)
Opponents PPG: 97.9 (16th)
Offensive Rating: 103.2 (19th)
Defensive Rating: 103.7 (10th)
Pace: 92.3 (12th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .502 (9th)
Turnover Percentage: .143 (17th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .745 (8th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .191 (30th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .220 (9th)
Opp. eFG%: .492 (17th)
Opp. TO%: .144 (8th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .215 (20th)
Leading scorer: Paul Pierce (19.7)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Celtics Injury Report:
Avery Bradley: out (shoulder)


Coming off of their worst offensive effort of the season, the Bulls try to get back on track, and score more than 71 points against Boston, who has lost two straight games.

I tried to take a shower to wash the stench of last night’s game, but it didn’t work. A 71 point, 37.3 percent shooting percentage will do that to you. It was the fewest points the Bulls scored in a game since January of 2008, against the Timberwolves. Chicago was outrebounded 18-10 on the offensive glass and 51-39 overall.

But really, their defensive effort was great, holding Memphis to 80 points and 37.5 percent shooting. In the fourth quarter, Chicago held the Griz to 23.8 percent from the field. That should have been enough to come back. But Luol Deng shot 1-7 from the field and 1-4 from the line in the fourth and as a team the Bulls shot 33.3 percent in the final frame. Basically it was a great defensive game but since they were so putrid on the offensive end they lost a contest that was very winnable. In the Bulls’ defense, Memphis is the second best defensive squad in the league.

Kirk Hinrich was especially terrible, finishing with four points (2-8 FG) and four turnovers. Nate Robinson was a little better, going 2-5 from the field. Tom Thibodeau did not play Jeff Teague at all, even though he played well against the Nets. Teague is going to make mistakes, but when Hinrich is playing horribly and doesn’t look healthy, and Nate isn’t scoring, what is there to lose?

The Bulls shouldn’t have the same trouble protecting the glass tonight, as the Celtics come in as the worst offensive rebounding team in the league.

Boston has been struggling as of late, losing their last two, including a blowout loss to the Spurs their last time out. Boston turned it over 20 times in that game, for 27 San Antonio points. Jason Terry and Paul Pierce each scored 18 points, but the Celtics only got to the line eight times in the game (San Antonio had 20 trips).

The Bulls lost to the Celtics once already this year, a six point defeat in the United Center. Rajon Rondo was one rebound shy of a triple-double (20 points, ten assists, nine rebounds and five steals) and Boston shot better than 50 percent as a team. The Celtics only had eight turnovers in the game.

Rip Hamilton played in that contest, while Hinrich sat out with a hip injury, which means Rondo’s big game came mainly with Nate Robinson on him (Rondo has turned it over seven times in each of his past two game and is averaging 5.6 over his last five games). Hopefully Hinrich can be more effective in slowing down the Celtic’s point guard. Deng and Noah each played well recording double-doubles (26 points, eleven rebounds for Lu, 17 and eleven for Jo), while Carlos Boozer pitched in 15 points.

The Bulls are 3-2 on the second night of back-to-backs and 7-6 at the United Center this season. Boston is 4-7 away from home.

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