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Celtics Take the Bulls By the Horns

Ray Allen knocks down a jumper. (Photo courtesy of Jesse Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)

It was about six months ago that Celtics and Bulls last suited up against each other in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. That was a series for the ages, with five of the seven games decided by three points or less. Those were two very evenly matched teams, and neither was willing to go down without a fight.

Fast-forward to October 30, 2009. Both teams’ rosters are essentially the same, except the Bulls lost leading scorer Ben Gordon to free agency, and the Celtics regained Kevin Garnett. Needless to say, the Bulls got the short end of that stick.

This time around, Chicago barely put up a fight, and Celtics continued their winning ways in a 118-90 rout of the Bulls.

Chicago, coming off a solid season-opening win over the Spurs, didn’t have what it took to put a damper on Boston’s high-powered offense. Paul Pierce and Eddie House paced the Celtics with game-highs of 22 points, while Ray Allen and KG chipped in with 20 and 16, respectively. Allen’s 20 points pushed him up to 19th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Boston shot nearly 60% from the floor and 50% from beyond the arc, while holding the Bulls to just 41.5% from the field and 13.3% from long distance.

Rajon Rondo finished with 16 assists, boosting his season average to 12.3 assists per game.

The Bulls, led by Joakim Noah’s double-double (16 points and 10 rebounds), never quite got in the flow of the game, and Boston maintained the lead throughout.

Boston (3-0) will have Halloween off before hosting New Orleans (1-1) on Sunday evening.

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7 comments for “Celtics Take the Bulls By the Horns”

  1. On October 16, George wrote a nice article on point guards in the East, and concluded that the only one he’d trade Rondo for “even up” was Derrick Rose. I wonder, after last night’s game, if he still feels that way. How about you Sarah?

    The Celtics look so good right now that it’s almost scary. Too early to take it too seriously, but my oh my they’re a joy to behold right now, and that bench seems absolutely peerless. Hope it lasts.

    Posted by Ken | October 31, 2009, 3:01 pm
  2. If this team can stay healthy, I don’t see any reason they CAN’T do better than the 66 wins they got in 2007-08. Ken, you’re right, they just look like they’re on their own planet.

    Posted by KC | October 31, 2009, 4:58 pm
  3. Ken-

    It’s really hard to base their value on stats because their roles are very different. However, I would still take Derrick Rose over Rajon Rondo because Rose has the ability to create his own shot and score, not to mention he is only in his second season so he has great upside. Rondo still doesn’t have a consistent jump shot (he might never develop it) so it is hard to build a team around him. He is going to rack up amazing assist numbers because he is surrounded by four future hall of fame players. Rose might be the only future hall of fame player on his team. So if you’re asking me who I would pick to start a franchise I would take Derrick Rose all the way.

    Posted by George | October 31, 2009, 7:16 pm
  4. I think you’re probably right George, but let’s change the question just a bit. Would you trade Rondo for Rose right now, as their teams are currently constituted? Not to build a franchise around, but as a straight trade at this very moment? Personally, I think Rondo is more valuable to the Celtics than Rose would be if you simply swapped the two guards. Maybe not for the future, but with the Celts going for a championship this year, I’d have to say that Rondo seems perfect for this team. At the same time, I don’t think he’s perfect for any other team – a point he might want to consider with all this salary crap going on.

    Whaddaya think?

    Posted by Ken | October 31, 2009, 8:14 pm
  5. I couldn’t agree with you more on that point Ken. Rondo fits this team perfectly. I’m just worried about three years down the road.

    Posted by George | November 1, 2009, 8:31 am
  6. I have to agree that Rondo is a great fit for the Celtics. Rose works in Chicago because he can create for himself, just as Rondo works in Boston because he creates for his teammates. I am now eating my words from Saturday when I was nearly positive that Rondo would hold out and try to go for a max contract after this season. I’m glad that he signed and locked himself in for five years AND is getting the money that he wants. As long as the Celtics keep scorers on the floor around him, he will continue to be a huge asset to the team.

    Posted by Sarah | November 2, 2009, 10:27 am
  7. […] Chicago has lost four in a row and they hope that¬†Saturday’s game doesn’t end up like the last time the two teams met, a 118-90 win for Boston. The Celtics are playing their best basketball lately and will look to […]

    Posted by Celtics Narrowly Beat Out Wizards | Sports of Boston | December 11, 2009, 2:12 pm

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