Monday, March 31, 2014
W2W4: Celtics vs. Bulls (Game 74 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics (23-50, 8-27 away) visit the Chicago Bulls (41-32, 23-14 home) on Monday night at the United Center (8 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
- INSTANT REPLAY: Thanks to a career-high 33-point outburst by reserve guard DJ Augustin, the Bulls topped the Celtics 107-102 on Sunday in Boston. What can Boston do to avoid allowing the Bulls to sweep the three-game season series in the Windy City? "If they score 107, we will lose. There’s no way you can depend on scoring up in the 100s to beat these guys. You have to defend."
- RONDO ON THE MIC: Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo will sit out the second night of a back-to-back as he works his way back from ACL surgery. He made the trip with the team to Chicago, however, and will serve as color commentator for CSN's broadcast for at least the first quarter of the game. His teammates are well aware that he'll be critiquing them. "I better bring by A-Game," said Jared Sullinger. "I know that much, just because I know he’s going to trash me the whole time. I better bring my A-Game."
- LOOSE BALLS: Jerryd Bayless is expected to start in Rondo's place at point guard. ... The Celtics will be formally eliminated from playoff contention with a loss combined with either a New York or Atlanta victory. ... Two notes from STATS LLC: Boston has dropped seven of the last eight meetings at the United Center, including a 94-82 defeat Jan. 2 as Noah led the Bulls with 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. ... Noah has a double-double in six straight meetings with the Celtics, averaging 13.7 points, 12 rebounds and 6.8 assists in that stretch.
(Read full game preview)