5-on-5: Bulls, Rondo, Centers, Trades, Lin

February, 16, 2012
2/16/12
12:52
PM ET

As part of our weekly 5-on-5 with our good friends and True Hoop partner at CelticsHub, we examined the approaching NBA trade deadline, the Jeremy Lin hype, and -- in place of our typical 3-on-3 preview -- we offer predictions on Thursday's rematch between the Celtics and Bulls. Here's a glimpse at the responses:
* Hayes Davenport: It comes down to whether Rose and Garnett are going to play, for me. I think KG will and Rose won’t. Boston 92, Chicago 90.

* Chris Forsberg: A tough turnaround for Boston (though if they get Kevin Garnett back, that’d be a nice boost, especially given his fresh legs after a night off on Wednesday). If the Celtics don’t have KG, it could be a long night, because Wilcox has been playing high minutes and would be going up against a very energetic frontcourt. The Celtics would need not only another big effort from someone like JaJuan Johnson, but for Jermaine O’Neal to give quality minutes as well. That’s asking a lot of this frontcourt on the tail end of a back-to-back (even if Rondo goes off again, which is also asking a lot after two big efforts in a row). Signs point to a Bulls win, which, since this Celtics team is impossible to get a read on, means Boston will find some way to win a game they probably shouldn’t.

* Brendan Jackson: The Celtics will give a better effort than they did last night against the Pistons but I don’ think the outcome will be much different. I see a shortage of killer instinct with this squad that won’t be remedied soon. 96-86 Bulls.

* Brian Robb: The Bulls will likely be missing Derrick Rose once again tonight, giving the Celtics a chance to compete on the road. With that said, a lot hinges on Kevin Garnett’s ability to play tonight, as last night we saw just how crucial he still is to this team’s defense. We know Chicago will be motivated after a sub-par game defensively on Sunday, but the question may be will the C’s will come out hungry after an unexpected loss last night to Detroit, or prove unwilling to compete with tired legs? We’ve seen both kind of games in back-to-backs this year, but I don’t expect the C’s to have energy and personnel to rise up to the challenge. Bulls 87, Celtics 81.

* CelticsHub Reader Michelle Trybulec: I don’t know what will happen, but I hope Rose feels good enough to play. I want to see the two matadors do their thing under lights far brighter and scrutiny more intense than Linsanity could even imagine. You want to see the great ones do great things.

Hop HERE to read the full 5-on-5 on CelticsHub.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9