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Bulls make it clear — right now they are better than Celtics

Apr 8, 2011, 1:16 AM EDT

Derrick Rose, Kevin Garnett AP

If Chicago and Boston meet in the playoffs, it will be in the second half of May. Conference finals time. Things can change and evolve in a month.

But right now Chicago is the better team.

Clearly. And they enter the playoffs with a lot of confidence.

It wasn’t just that they beat Boston Thursday night 97-81, it was how. (See the highlights here.)The Bulls were the more active and physical team on defense. They were the better three point shooting team (Boston just 2-10 as the Bulls chased them off the arc, Chicago was 9-22). Boston’s defense had no answer for Derrick Rose (30 points on just 16 shots), and his slashing led to Boston getting more points in the paint, too.

The Bulls dominated the game.

Chicago put up 14 more points per 100 possessions than Boston normally allows. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau finds an offensive mismatch and he will beat it into the ground. It’s things like Carlos Boozer not having a great night (14 points on 16 shots) but Chicago recognizing that when Jeff Green was on Carlos Boozer the smaller Green could not contain him, so the Bulls fed the ball to Boozer until Boston adjusted.

Virtually everyone on Rose is a mismatch, and Boston could not protect the rim against him. And that is where the Kendrick Perkins question is — Boston fans were tweeting it all game.

Just to add fuel to that fire, Chicago’s Brian Scalabrine said before the game to CSN Chicago that no Perkins made the Bulls more confident.

“For us, Perkins was an intimidating factor at the rim,” Scalabrine told Comcast SportsNet prior to tonight’s game. “Kevin (Garnett) and Perkins out there, that’s a big deal.”

Perkins might well have helped some, but what the Celtics really needed was a scoring threat in the post and Perkins would not have provided that. They needed Shaquille O’Neal, who changes that equation because he can score thereby by pulling in defenses so Ray Allen and others can get better looks at threes. Shaq can still do that even at this stage of his career.

Rose certainly won the point guard battle against Rondo, as the Celtics center had just 7 points. But that was as much or more about Rondo taking himself out than what Rose did. Things Rondo can normally succeed at fell short.

Boston also needed transition points on the Bulls. Both of these teams can be too good defensively if you let them set. But the Celtics walked it up all night. Chicago was there waiting.

The game means Chicago is just one win (or one Boston loss) away from securing the top seed in the East. That is a done deal. The loss also ties Boston with Miami and sets up a huge showdown Sunday with the second seed in the East almost on the line.

As for Thursday night, it was not just one thing. It was a lot of things and the Bulls won pretty much every one that mattered. They were the better team by far.

And if these two team meet again in a month Boston is going to have to make some strides if they are going to compete.

  1. redbear18 - Apr 8, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    Wait, Rajon rondo is a center?

  2. helinhater - Apr 8, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    Good for you buddy…

    You caught a typo! Your English teachers will be so unbelievably proud that their star pupil is still catching typos even in his adult years…

    I can’t stand you people who get off on catching mistakes. Try writing a popular blog and see how many mistakes you might make.

    Especially as you’re posting at 1:16am so people like you have something to read when you wake up that fills you in on the games you missed while sleeping.

    • hnirobert3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      This is ironic coming from someone named helinhater.

  3. smashmouthrb25 - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    you get paid to write articles…would you criticize an player that missed his free throws in the final seconds of a game to cause his team to lose? they get paid to make shots like that…would you not criticize…I understand you get irritated when people point out minor errors….but what does lashing out about it in a post do? nothing at all….doesn’t change the error…doesn’t change the comment

  4. Kansachusetts - Apr 8, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Well, someone’s got to make an intelligent comment, so I’ll just say that Helin, as usual, is right on. This is a predictable effect of the Perkins trade, and Shaq, if healthy, is the answer — along with the rest of the Celtics stepping up. I believe you’ll get much better games out of the Big 4 in the playoffs — especially after this thrashing.

    That said, somebody has to teach the remaining bigs how to set picks for Ray Allen, and Rondo has to put forward more than his Matador Pickpocket defense.

  5. stuckonwords - Apr 8, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    The fact that the reason I decided to post a comment was to address some obvious errors in this “article” is validated by the fact that the only posts made so far have been to remark on the errors in the “article”. It is proof that the point I intend to make is accurate.

    “Boston’s defense had no answer for Derrick Rose (30 points on just 16 shots), and his slashing led to Boston getting more points in the paint, too.”

    Boston did not have more points in the paint. That’s not a typo; it’s a factual error.

    “Rose certainly won the point guard battle against Rondo, as the Celtics center had just 7 points.”

    Rondo is not a center. That is not a typo; it’s a factual error.

    “I like –> chiken <–" is a typo.

    When a "journalist" earns his living…literally gets *paid*…to write articles, those of us reading those articles deserve the respect of being able to rely on the factual information provided. When said "journalist" cannot be relied upon to provide accurate facts, he eventually loses his credibility, and his audience is lost. When he says…

    "It’s things like Carlos Boozer not having a great night (14 points on 16 shots)"

    …I suddenly find myself questioning whether that statistic is even accurate, and am tempted to look it up myself. When a "journalist" starts causing me to have to put in time checking his information, that "journalist" becomes useless to me.

    Kurt…people will always click on an article that has a title which regards a topic in which they are interested. The only thing that will stop that is if they see that it is written by someone they cannot trust. If you want to keep getting a paycheck writing, you might consider proofreading what you write before clicking "Publish".

    • Kansachusetts - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:09 PM

      Give it a break. The guy is writing a blog in the middle of the night, and you’re not paying a cent to read it. You KNOW those things are typos, not errors of judgement, so just forget it.

      Let’s talk basketball instead. Or go start a proofreading blog.

      • stuckonwords - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        The reason I read these articles is because I couldn’t see the game myself. I, and everyone else in my position, rely on the information given in these articles. Many people work during the night in many professions, and they never are given the opportunity to produce poor quality work just because they’re working at night. They’re hired to do a job and to do it at night, and they’re expected to do it well.

        They are not typographical errors. A misspelled word is a typographical error. I did not say they were errors of judgment. They were errors of fact. That is a fact.

      • stuckonwords - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        In addition, we do “pay a cent” to read these articles. We are, in fact, paying this man’s salary by being the customers of these websites. Without traffic there would be no advertising, and without advertising there would be no revenue. I…we…are entirely entitled to expect factually accurate articles, because I am the customer. What’s more, we pay for these articles with more than just the money we spend on the advertisers’ products, we also pay with the time of our lives we spend reading these articles. We are the consumer, and we are entitled to expect factually accurate material.

      • Kansachusetts - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        I went to a basketball game and a proofreading contest broke out.

      • Kansachusetts - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:44 PM

        Chicago – The Whining Proofreaders defeated the Sleepy Bloggers last night by an overwhelming margin of 11 comments to 1 post. No basketball fans were in the stands.

        “Mental errors cost us last night. We’re better than that,” said Bloggers’ center (Editor’s Note: point guard) Hell Curtain. “We’ll be up for tomorrow night’s game if we have to spend the whole afternoon at Starbucks.”

        The Whining Proofreaders pulled off the victory with a combination of offensiveness and defensiveness. “We paid for the right to be here — indirectly, by paying higher prices (on a mini-micro level) to the several companies who advertise on it, ” said Whiners’ point guard (Editor’s note: center) Fixatedonwords. “We own the Bloggers. They can’t really play in our league.”

        No basketball fans are expected for tonight’s rematch either.

  6. stuckonwords - Apr 8, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Okay…Kansachusetts snuck in a post while I was writing mine. 4 of 5 posts were regarding the lack of attention Kurt paid to the details.

  7. Kansachusetts - Apr 8, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Still waiting for someone else to talk about basketball in this comment thread.

  8. mornelithe - Apr 9, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    I think really the only thing worth mentioning about this game, is generally what everyone took away from last year, and generally what everyone said about this game in the few days prior to it. It means nothing. Whatever the Celtics look and play like right now, the last month or so of the season….is completely irrelevant to how they’ll perform in the post-season. Anyone who doubts this is a fool. Do I think the Celtics will win the title? It should be without question, that if this team is fully healthy and rested, they have more than enough talent to win it all.

    What remains to be seen is if they can remain healthy and rested throughout the entirety of the playoffs. The only thing that has me skeptical is how the regular season has played out thus far with injuries.

  9. zackd2 - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Hey Boston fans- THAT’S an elite PG. Not someone who can’t hit a J or is afraid to drive because he only shoots 60% from FT.

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