Monday, December 17, 2012
'Improved' Bulls get another shot vs. Celtics
By Nick Friedell
MEMPHIS -- Having already dropped a game to the Boston Celtics last month, Carlos Boozer is looking forward to getting some payback on Tuesday night in Chicago.
Carlos Boozer, who led the Bulls with 16 points and 13 rebounds on Monday, is looking forward to another chance against Boston on Tuesday.
"We've gotten better since that game," Boozer said of the Bulls' 101-95 loss to Boston on Nov. 12. "I'm sure they've gotten better, too. As the season goes along teams usually get better, but I feel like we've gotten better, we've improved and we're going to continue to improve. I think the biggest thing for us is to take advantage of our transition. We got too many turnovers in transition, and if we can capitalize a little bit more on the break that helps our half court offense a lot.
"We haven't been doing a great job of rebounding. That's one of our strengths we haven't been showing the last couple of games so get back to rebounding. And just keep fighting, man. We got a lot of fight on this team. We never give up, it don't matter what the score is, we're going to keep playing. (Tuesday) is going to be a dogfight; they're a very good team. We look forward to the challenge."
The Bulls have improved defensively since the first loss to the Celtics but will have to take care of the ball better. They committed 14 turnovers against Boston and turned it over 16 times against the Grizzlies on Monday.
"We have to have an edge," Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich said. "Boston's a very good team. We're familiar with them, they're familiar with us, and we just got to do a better job of taking care of the ball, making plays for each other and being aggressive."
The Bulls need to do a better job of slowing down Rajon Rondo, who had 20 points and 10 assists in the last meeting. Boozer also said it will be crucial for the Bulls to stay in front of Kevin Garnett.
"He's just very poised," Boozer said. "A lot of experience. He shoots the ball like a guard; very, very aggressive defender, got great length, great athleticism, does a great job of anchoring their defense. One of the things he does really good that's kind of underrated is his passing ability. (He's) a very good passer for a big man so he'll have our attention (Tuesday)."
It will be interesting to see just how much attention and energy the Bulls have given that they played Monday night while the Celtics relaxed in Chicago. No matter what the situation brings, Joakim Noah's attitude isn't going to change.
"I have no idea what the key's going to be," Noah said. "We just got to come ready, follow (coach Tom Thibodeau)'s game plan and play good Chicago style basketball. I wish I could tell you what the key is. Unfortunately nobody knows."