Celtics, Bulls drawing best from each other in fight for survival
It's status quo right now.
As for his influence on the bench, it's been considerable. He's had an impact on second-year big man
I hate straddling the fence, but it's been a little bit of both. No question, the loss of Garnett has taken away much of the Celtics' intimidation factor. An Eastern Conference coach told me, "This league is full of [wimps], and Garnett intimidates every one of them." But this Bulls team is brash, it's young, it's energetic and its big men don't back down. Between Games 3 and 4, I asked
They both downplay it significantly, but obviously, this matchup is fueling both.
I've never seen Rondo attack the basket as relentlessly as he has. And in the absence of Garnett, Rondo has filled that leadership void on the team. He's constantly communicating and even taking some of his teammates to task on the floor for defensive lapses and bad turnovers.
As for Rose, in the limited amount of times I've seen him play live, I haven't seen him hit jump shots with such consistency and act as such a team leader. After Game 4, veteran Bulls guard
Perkins needs to relax. I was at the first four games and I didn't notice any glaring missed calls. The one questionable call was Davis' theatrics with
As for Perkins, he made his own bed in Game 4. There was a key play late in the fourth quarter when he grabbed an offensive rebound with the Celtics up three. He had a chance to throw the ball back out and take some time off the clock and get a better shot. Instead, he got the rebound, waited about three or four seconds, started backing his man into the paint, swung an elbow and got called for the hook and the offensive foul. That was a major factor in why the Celtics did not win the game. Even Pierce turned around, lifted his hands in the air and motioned to Perkins, wondering why the center did not throw the ball out to a perimeter player.
To attack the refs is just an excuse and reflects a bad mentality going into Game 5. The officials are not the problem. Staying out of foul trouble and the lack of depth are the problems for Boston.
Rondo is obviously hurt. He has both of his ankles in an ice bucket after every game. But I think he's going to be OK. He's been battling little nicks and bumps all season long. Barring an unforeseen setback at practice, I don't see Rondo being slowed.
The one guy who sticks out as a potential problem is Bulls swingman
It's difficult to predict because it's going to be based on what the market offers anybody. But Gordon certainly has raised his value in the eyes of the Chicago front office. He really is the Bulls' only go-to scorer. He is their fourth-quarter man in the clutch; they don't have a replacement for that.
Not if Chicago wins Game 5 in Boston. I'm not sure Boston can win a Game 6 in Chicago. The Celtics did blow them out there in Game 3, but the Bulls have generally played so well at home, so that's going to be a tall task. That makes Game 5 a must-win for the Celtics; you do not want to go back to Chicago down 3-2 with a depleted frontcourt and against a Bulls team that is clearly confident.