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Bulls Trample Celtics

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 20 points, but it wasn't enough to top the Bulls. (Brian Babineau, NBAE/Getty Images)

Something funny happened at the 9 minute mark in the first quarter of Boston’s 96-83 loss last night to Chicago at the TD Garden: the Celtics became the Washington Generals.

Many of the fans in the sellout crowd were still trying to find their seats when Boston stumbled, missing four shots, turning the ball over twice, and committing three fouls in a Sloth from “Goonies-” ugly 3 minute span. By the time those fans were comfortable, the Celtics were down 10 points, 17-7, a lead the Bulls would never relinquish.

The Celtics may have been fatigued, playing their fourth game in five nights, but the Bulls simply out hustled Boston all over the court. The Celtics were out rebounded 50-39, turned the ball over 18 times, and saw 10 of their shots rejected.

Luol Deng, doing his best impersonation of an NBA All-Star, led all scorers with 25 points and played suffocating defense all night. Paul Pierce tried to put the Green on his shoulders with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, but it wasn’t nearly enough. After Boston fell behind early in the first, the team simply treaded water all night, only once cutting into Chicago’s lead.

An Eddie House (11 points, 2 assists) to Kendrick Perkins (14-10 double-double) backdoor layup with 8 minutes left in the fourth cut the lead to 75-71, giving Boston fans a glimmer of hope. But the Bulls promptly went on a 6-0 run to take the wind out of Boston’s comeback sails.

Few fans were in their seats as the final seconds ticked off the clock for Chicago’s 13-point win. Boston is now 4-6 in its last 10 games.


  • Boston shot 45% on the night, but a dismal 53% from the line and 23% from behind the arc on 4-17 shooting.
  • Rajon Rondo had his moments (15 points, 7 assists), but turned the ball over five times and looked a step slow on Derrick Rose (17 points in 29 minutes) all night.
  • If Rondo was a step slow, Ray Allen was wearing cement high tops. The Celtics’ shooting guard played 35 minutes, contributing 8 points, 1 rebound, 0 assists, and three turnovers.
  • The Celtics’ big men have a crisis of identity. Whether it’s Rasheed Wallace or last night’s starting PF Brian Scalabrine, someone needs to tell these guys they are not Ray Allen. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: this team needs rebounding from the PF position, not three-point shooting. The problem has become almost comical with Kevin Garnett out and Sheed and Scal getting big minutes.
  • Dear Doc Rivers: Never, ever start Brian Scalabrine ever again. The man plays zero defense, doesn’t rebound, and spends his time on offense nowhere near the basket. Why, in the name of all things green, would you not start Big Baby (6 points, 8 rebounds in 25 minutes), your only remaining PF that actually rebounds and is a defensive wonder compared to Scal?
  • Dear Danny Ainge: Never, ever let Doc Rivers start Brian Scalabrine ever again.

About Sharkey

I was 11 years old when the ball scooted through Buckner's wickets, a moment that is laser-etched in my mind: In my living room, on the floor in front of the TV, ready to burst as the Sox needed just one more out, one more strike, to become World Series champs. Mets players sat with slumped shoulders and dejected looks in the dugout. Even the scoreboard operator recognized the game, and the series, was over, posting on the jumbotron: Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, 1986 World Series Champions. "They did it!" I said, unable to contain myself. "The Sox won it all!" My father, sitting behind me on the couch with a furrowed brow, knew better. "It's not over yet." And so it was. Having watched the Sox, Celts, and Pats for the past three decades, I truly feel like I've seen it all. I hope to bring that type of perspective as I write about the three teams I love.

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2 comments for “Bulls Trample Celtics”

  1. I’d like to add a “Dear Doc Rivers” question/statement to Sharkey’s points: Dear Doc – When your team has no energy and is clearly falling apart with fatigue, what do you have to lose by putting some young bodies out there (remember those guys named Walker and Giddens?), giving them a chance to rejuvenate things, and seeing if, maybe, just maybe they can add something to a pathetic performance against a team you should beat by 20 points? Learn something from history, Doc. Here’s two words for you to consider: Joe Johnson. Another youngster who was allowed to migrate away from the Celts without a fair shake.

    Posted by Ken | January 15, 2010, 3:22 pm
  2. Rondo looked awfully slow against the Bulls. His legs weren’t with him, and Rose was blowing past him left and right. Sometimes broadcasters say that players are tired, and you really have to look for what they are talking about. However, with Rondo, it was staggering how bad he looked. Give the man some time off. Please! Get Lester Hudson back to take off some pressure.

    Posted by Sportsjuke | January 16, 2010, 2:06 am

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