Bulls early surprise of playoffs after taking 2 at Boston

Posted April 20, 2017

At the time of Smart flipping a fan "the bird", the Celtics were once again trailing their opponents - this time by 14 points, 100-86 - despite playing each of the first two games of the series at home in Boston.

Chicago are the first No. 8 seed to take a 2-0 lead in a first-round series - and even better, they did it on the road. None has swept a top seed.

Avery Bradley talked of how teammates could clearly be seen hanging their heads, and allowing dejection to settle in as the Bulls answered each Celtics run with something better. Have failed to score 100 points in three of their last four postseason games dating back to previous year.

Stevens coached this team to 53 wins in the regular season.

There was the big trade last summer when the Bulls sent hometown favorite and former MVP Derrick Rose to NY after going 42-40. "I could even hear Rondo like, 'Yeah, they gave up". "You get three or four days of prep on a team, lock into their game plan".

There was a big flare-up in January when Wade and Butler teed off on the team following a loss.

In a hallway, they exchanged handslaps, not unlike the picture Rondo posted to his Instagram account on January 26 of him with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from their shared Celtics championship season.

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The Celtics have not been disruptive to the Bulls in this series, and they need to work as a unit in order to overcome that.

Smart played 27 minutes in the 111-97 loss, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. It's key. When you have a point guard like him, that controls the whole game, you just got to play.

After an up and down year, in which the Bulls seemed to play their best against the top teams in the National Basketball Association, yet play down to the bad teams in the National Basketball Association, the Bulls will have to bring their best to upset the Celtics.

John Wall finished with 32 points and nine assists, including the dish to Beal for his shot from beyond the arc with 38 seconds remaining that sealed it. In the first game, Lopez pulled down seven offensive boards in the first half and turned that into six personal second-chance points for a Bulls offense that hit one three pointer in that same span. "They haven't played a lot of games together since Dwyane had the injury (fractured right elbow) and Rajon was inserted back in that starting lineup".

Over in the East, the Bulls' dismantling of the Celtics has been by far the number one story, but how about Milwaukee giving the Raptors all they could handle while splitting the first two games in Toronto. Chicago made a statement in Game 1 to the Celtics.

But the front office wanted to hang on to Rondo's contract as a possible trade chip, and the coaching staff eventually decided the veteran point guard could have value leading the second unit, imparting his wisdom to young players like Denzel Valentine, Bobby Portis, Michael Carter-Williams, Paul Zipser and Cris Felicio. "Our spirit was great, and I think it just carried over into the first quarter, with everybody being aggressive. As I told him, 'Way to run your team'". It leaves Boston flinging the ball around the perimeter in search of open lanes or shots that have been few and far between, while also being squandered too often when available. "It makes it easy for it to go in".