C's expecting Rose will play
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said the team would wait to see how Rose responds on Thursday, but Paul Pierce wasn't waiting for a medical update and thinks Rose will only make Chicago that much more dangerous.
"[The Bulls] are tough at home, they are the NBA’s best team, record-wise," Pierce said of the 42-13 Bulls, who are 21-6 at home this season. "You gotta expect Derrick Rose to probably be back. We understand the challenge that’s ahead of us. We understand that [Wednesday's loss to San Antonio] was a big blow to [the Celtics, snapping a five-game win streak], but we just have to be ready -- mentally and physically -- to come into Chicago and try to get a win."
The Celtics have struggled with second nights of back-to-backs this season (7-8 overall), particularly those that close on the road (2-8). Back in February, the Celtics lost the first night of a back-to-back against Detroit at TD Garden, then fell to the Bulls on a Thursday primetime game.
Kevin Garnett, an outspoken critic of this year's condensed schedule, isn't thrilled with another daunting back-to-back. Asked about Thursday's game in Chicago, he said: "Doesn’t get any easier; Thank you, [commissioner David] Stern, thank you [executive director of the National Basketball Players Association] Billy [Hunter].”
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