In case you haven’t noticed what the Boston Celtics have been up to lately, they’re on a six-game playoff winning streak against the two best regular season teams in the league. During that six-game stretch, the Celtics have held the Cavaliers and Magic to 87, 88, 85, 88, 92 and 71 points.
Mind you, coming into their series against the Celtics, the Magic were 8-0 in the playoffs and averaging 101.0 PPG while shooting almost 50 percent from the field and nearly 40 from downtown. Against the Boston Stranglers, they’re scoring 83.7 PPG while hitting only 39 percent of their field goals and 28 percent of their threes. As Zach Harper of Cowbell Kingdom pointed out: “Their offensive rating is down to 95 points per 100 possessions. For reference, the 12-70 Nets were last in the NBA with 100.6 points per 100 possessions.” And remember: During the regular season, the Magic were ranked 4th in Offensive Rating.
It’s no wonder the Bulls are targeting Boston assistant coach and defensive mastermind Tom Thibodeau.
According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “League sources confirmed the Bulls have requested permission to interview Thibodeau — who is not permitted to talk to media, a team rule for assistant coaches — for their head coaching vacancy. That interview could take place during the Celtics’ break between the Eastern Conference finals and NBA Finals should they finish off their 3-0 lead over the Magic. … In 18 NBA seasons with the Timberwolves, SuperSonics, Spurs, 76ers, Knicks, Rockets and Celtics, Thibodeau’s teams have finished in the top 10 defensively 15 times.”
In related news, Phoenix Suns assistant “Thunder” Dan Majerle is willing to listen if the Bulls call him about their coaching vacancy. As of now, they haven’t called.