Chicago Bulls' rebounding prowess will cause Boston Celtics problems all series

Isaiah Thomas

"PLAYOFF Rondo" was in full display as the feisty point guard flirted with a triple-double while firing up his team with some vintage trash talking just as the Boston Celtics fell apart late in a Game 2 loss on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) to the Chicago Bulls in their first-round series. Playing with a heavy heart, Isaiah Thomas then had to suit up for his team's playoff game against Chicago. However, it was the Celtics that emerged triumphant in the last playoff clash with Chicago, knocking off the Bulls in seven games in a first-round matchup eight years ago. I think he's going to be terrific when he hangs them up in that role, as well, as a coach.

The Bulls are in the Celtics' heads after a 111-97 victory at TD Garden as they vie to become just the sixth No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed since the National Basketball Association expanded to 16-team playoffs in 1984.

All-Star Butler recorded 22 points to help the eighth-seeded Bulls take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

"We're like this", Jimmy Butler said, balling up his fist to show the team's tightness after a regular season with occasional fractures. "And that's where your confidence always comes from". Since steals became an official statistic in 1973-74, the only players with three such games are Rondo and Jordan. Boston got outrebounded 53-36 while allowing 20 offensive boards leading to 23 second-chance points. The first day of practice after we made the playoffs, we came in on Friday and they tore our butts off.

"It's just his competitive edge", Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. While his 33 points might not have been enough to carry the Boston Celtics to a win, there is no need to panic, it's only Game 1. At this point in the year it's all about doing whatever it takes to win, and each game is different. While Butler may be hard to shut down, Avery Bradley and the Celtics did a great job of limiting Chicago's star to just 7 first half points. The Celtics fell to the Bulls, 106-102.

No one knows that more than teammate Dwyane Wade.

After Jimmy Butler hit a jumper in the lane over Marcus Smart in the second quarter one Celtics fan in the crowd, who identified himself as Mike S. from Everett, turned to his friend and said, "Why didn't we trade for Jimmy?" That has to be weighing heavy on not only the Boston leader but also the entire Celtic team. While Rondo and the Bulls know how important he has been to them getting to the playoffs, they know all too well that there's still plenty of work to be done.

NOTES: The Bulls are 14-9 against the top eight teams in the league, 13-12 against the bottom nine.

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