NBA Playoffs: Bulls vs. Celtics
The Bulls finished the season disappointingly yesterday, being routed by the Raptors 109-98. Following the 76ers' victory over the LeBron-less Cavs, the Bulls earned the seventh seed in the NBA Playoffs, seeding them against the defending champion Boston Celtics.
What does this mean for the Chicago Bulls? Well let's look at the upcoming series against Boston in depth.
Chicago and Boston met up three times in the regular season with the Celtics taking the season series 2-1 over Chicago.
In the March 17, and most recent, battle between the two squads, the Bulls earned a 121-127 victory.
Newly added John Salmons put up an impressive 38 points against the Celts and led the game in scoring.
As much as it was an impressive, feel good win for the Bulls and their fans, the downside was that the Celtics played without KG, which you have to admit changes the game quite considerably.
That said, it was still an important win for Chicago and it will certainly be a glimmer of hope for the squad when they start their playoff dreams against Boston.
Looking back at the regular season for the Bulls, the addition of Salmons was without a doubt the turning point for Chicago.
Fans and analysts were already calling for Vinny Del Negro's head, but after he went through with the deal, sending Andres Nocioni to the Kings for Salmons and a few others, the mood towards Vinny turned real quick.
The other two matchups between the Celtics and Bulls didn't go quite as well as the March 17 game for Chicago.
Their first match up in October went 80-96 in Boston's favor, with a solid distribution of points for Boston's starters. Four out of their five finished in double figures, with KG leading the way with 18.
In their December matchup, the Celtics took it to the Bulls by almost 20, finishing off with a 108-126 victory. Ray Allen led the scoring with 27 points.
Looking back on these three games, it's hard to bet against the Celtics in this opening series of the NBA playoffs. It's also arguable that the Bulls played significantly better after the Salmons trade, and he only participated for the Bulls in their sole victory over the Celts.
Salmons knows how to play Boston, scoring 38 in his only game against the Celtics last season. For Bulls fans sake, hopefully he can see similar numbers in this series.
Looking for the potential upset, future ROTY Derrick Rose put up a grand total of 43 points and seven assists in the three matchups against Boston. Not entirely impressive numbers, but I look to see Rose showing up to play in his first ever playoff series and first postseason appearance since that championship match against Kansas a little over a year ago.
I look for the Bulls to put up a fight against the Celtics, despite their very mediocre season record of 41-41. If they play to their potential, they could force a game seven and potentially pull off a 2007 Golden State Warriors performance.
I think it'll be a much more interesting series than some people may expect. Keep an eye out for that potential upset.
When all is said and done though, Boston takes the series in six games.
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