2017 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference First Round Game #2
#8 Chicago Bulls at #1 Boston Celtics
Bulls lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts
Opening Line: Boston -7
Current Line: Boston -7 1/2
Opening Total: 207 1/2
Current Total: 206 1/2
Opening Money Line: Celtics -300 / Bulls +250
Current Money Line: Celtics -330 / Bulls +265
The 53-29 Boston Celtics are the #1 seed in the East, but they were upset by the #8 seed Chicago Bulls who are 41-41 in game one of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals 106-102 Sunday in Boston. The Celtics look to rebound in game two Tuesday night in Boston.
Boston was a 6.5 point favorite in game one and the total was 207.5. The Celtics took a 28-23 at the end of the first but the Bulls would lead 48-46 at halftime. The two teams would be tied at 74 going into the fourth. Chicago led 101-92 with just over a minute left, but Boston pulled to within 104-102 with seven seconds left. Jimmy Butler buried two free throws to ice the game for the Bulls as they pulled off the four point upset.
Chicago was 39/91 from the field including 8/25 from three point range. The Bulls made 20/23 of their free throws. The Bulls had 65 rebounds to just 44 for the Celtics. Chicago had 22 assists, 19 turnovers, 10 steals and 7 blocks. The Bulls had 11 fast break points and 44 points in the paint. Boston was 37/86 from the field including 14/38 from three point range. Boston made 14/19 of their free throws. The Celtics had 27 assists, 16 turnovers, 9 steals and 4 blocks. Boston had 14 fast break points and 38 points in the paint.
Jimmy Butler had 30 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists for the Bulls. Bobby Portis had 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks off the bench. Robin Lopez had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Rajon Rondo had 12 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Dwyane Wade had 11 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas had 33 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. He played despite his sister being killed in a one car accident the day before. Al Horford had 19 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds. Avery Bradley had 14 points. no other Celtic scored more than 9 points.
Chicago is coached by Fred Hoiberg. The Bulls finished fourth in the Central Division and won a tiebreaker over the Miami Heat for the last playoff spot in the East. The Bulls are 43-40 ATS and the total is 33-49-1 this season.
Boston is coached by Brad Stevens. The Celtics won the Atlantic Division by two games over the Toronto Raptors. The Celtics are 40-41-2 ATS and the total is 40-39-4 this season.
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Chicago is outscoring teams 103-102. The Bulls are #6 in points allowed and #23 in scoring this season. Chicago is shooting 44.4% from the field and 34% from 3 point range. The bulls are #24 or worse in both categories. The Bulls are #6 in free throw shooting at 79.8% from the line. Opponents are shooting 45.6% from the field and 34.4% from 3 point range. The Bulls are #6 in three point defense. Chicago averages 46.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.2 per game. The Bulls are #3 in rebounding. Chicago averages 22.6 assists, 13 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 4.8 blocks per game.
Jimmy Butler averages 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Dwyane Wade averages 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Nikola Mirotic averages 10.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Robin Lopez averages 10.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1.4 blocks per game. Rajon Rondo averages 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Bobby Portis, Michael Carter-Williams, Jerian Grant, Paul Zipser, Denzel Valentine, and Cameron Payne will also get minutes in the rotation.
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Boston is outscoring teams 108-105 this season. The Celtics are #7 in scoring. Boston is shooting 45.4% from the field and 35.9% from 3 point range. Boston make 80.7% of their free throws and are #3 in that category. Opponents are shooting 45% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. The Celtics are #2 in 3 point defense and #9 in field goal defense. Boston averages 42 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.5 per game. The Celtics are #25 or worse in both categories. Boston averages 24.4 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 8.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Isaiah Thomas averages 28.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. The MVP candidate is probable and will fly to Tacoma on Wednesday morning to be with his family and will meet the team in Chicago for game three. Avery Bradley averages 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Al Horford averages 14 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. Jae Crowder averages 13.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Marcus Smart averages 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Kelly Olynyk averages 9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko, and Tyler Zeller will also get minutes in the rotation.
Chicago is 6-0 ATS against teams with winning home records, 6-1 after allowing 100 points or more and against teams with winning records, 4-1 overall and against Eastern Conference teams, 7-2 in road games, 6-2 after scoring more than 100 points, and 5-2 in first round games. The under is 4-1 in this series recently but the over is 20-7 in Boston between the teams.
Boston is 4-9 ATS in Tuesday games, 3-7 against Eastern Conference teams and after scoring 100 points or more, 3-8 overall, 1-6 against teams with losing road records, and 1-7 at home. The home team is 7-1 ATS in this series and the favorite is 7-2 ATS recently. The Celtics are 4-1 ATS in Boston against the Bulls recently.
Boston despite being the best team in the East is still a young team. The Celtics need to rebound because they don’t want to go to Chicago down 0-2. Chicago isn’t your typical #8 seed as they underachieved during the regular season. I think Boston wins a close game to even up the series.