The Boston Celtics will look for their 10th win in a row tonight in Chicago against the Bulls who have lost their last four games. Despite their recent struggles, there are still reasons to be concerned about playing the Bulls tonight.
Let’s “open up the files” on the Celtics’ 17th game of the season against the Bulls.
These two teams are 1-1 against each other this season and won’t play each other again until 2023 after tonight.
DeMar DeRozen has been spectacular this season and just scored 41 points in his last game which the Bulls only lost by one point. It was the second time this season he’s scored over 40 points and the first time was against the Celtics.
The problem Boston faces will be containing center Nikola Vucevic, who is averaging 21 points and 17.5 rebounds per game against the Celtics in two games this season.
Zach LaVine has struggled lately and it has yet to get any better for him. In their last game against the Magic, LaVine only recorded four points on a wild 1-14 shooting.
The Bulls rank in the middle of the pack in assists (16th) and points per game (19th), and 3-pointers made (28th). It’s fair to say with a large enough sample size of this team that the Celtics can tame the Bulls in this game.
In the last game they played on Nov. 4th, Boston held Vucevic to 12 rebounds, which is 11 less than the first time they played in October.
With every game the Celtics play, they learn more about themselves and what needs to be done in order to win games. To which Joe Mazzulla has alluded to in his postgame press conference at the end of the last game:
“I think you have to go through that as a team. You have to build an awareness for your team to what’s going on. And sometimes, I like the fact that we have to execute through a run instead of calling a timeout through a run.”
Marcus Smart will probably be another gametime decision leading into tonight’s game as he’s still managing a right ankle injury. However, he is not on the latest injury report released Sunday night.
Jaylen Brown needs to focus on just creating for himself and moving the ball around rather than facilitating and initiating the offense in the half court. It’ll limit his turnovers as he had seven in his last game.
Jayson Tatum has done a great job carrying the load this season and is a front runner for MVP this season. He’s been exceptional on the defensive end of the court which will only help his MVP odds but his 3-point shooting has been a true struggle as of late (20-61 over his last six games).
The Celtics and Bulls play tonight at 8:00PM at the United Center.
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