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First-quarter issues have doomed the Chicago Bulls in most of their 17 games this season. But that wasn't the case in yesterday's win that snapped the team's four-game losing streak.

Bulls' first-quarter issues

The Bulls made a bad habit of falling behind early, but last night they had a much better start in their impressive 121-107 home win against the Celtics. While Boston missed many open shots, Chicago displayed urgency on defense, getting four steals, scoring six points off turnovers, and holding the Celtics to 6-of-22 from the field and 5-of-17 from three-point range.

The Bulls were up after a first quarter for the first time in two weeks; the last time they were ahead after the opening 12 minutes was on November 7, when they beat the Raptors 111-97 at home.

The win against the Celtics takes some pressure off Billy Donovan's team, but they must build on what they did right to start the game and replicate that effort more consistently.

The Bulls still allow 115.8 points per 100 possessions over 17 first quarters this season, per NBA.com; the sixth-worst mark in the league. They also rank 23rd in the NBA, allowing 29.7 first-quarter points.

What's the ceiling for this team?

There’s plenty of room for improvement, and the Bulls will likely have to fix their issues with the current roster. Still, the ceiling of this group might not be as high as projected going into the season.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Jamal Collier talked about it on Monday’s episode of the “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast,

“There’s no knight in shining armor to save the day or whatever it is for this team, this is kind of what they got, and if it was you thought you could sort of have it as a holding pattern, and you are just going to get by and thread water until Lonzo rejoins you at some time, I think as the days tick on that’s becoming more and more unrealistic to make it work,” Collier said.

Next up for the Bulls is a road game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, as they look to build on a win against the team with the best record in the NBA