The Boston Celtics’ three straight wins against the Chicago Bulls to take a commanding lead in their first round series don’t invalidate the problems we saw when they dropped Games 1 and 2. Boston still overachieved in the regular season, setting up unrealistically high expectations and pushing them into being the most unlikely No. 1 seed in years.
But the Celtics, on Wednesday, finally started looking like a team we recognized again. It wasn’t just Isaiah Thomas having to score or create on offense or nothing would happen; in fact, lineups with him off the floor survived surprisingly well. The game was still close, with the Bulls taking leads several times in the second half, but Boston eventually pulled away decisively in the end for a 108-97 victory.
To go with Thomas’s 24 points came Avery Bradley’s best game yet — 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting — and Marcus Smart providing a solid eight points and eight assists off the bench. Al Horford damn near had a triple-double, with 21 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists, and even Kelly Olynyk was solid.
The Bulls need a fresh start. Chicago is 83-81 over the last two seasons, stuck squarely in the middle of the pack with no obvious path to contention. The Bulls thought signing Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo would make them better, but they actually got one game worse despite making the playoffs this year. Running the whole thing back again next season would be horribly distressing for the fan base and a doomed idea from the start.
It’s hard to part with a homegrown star like Elite Womens Lou Gehrig Jersey Butler, but Fultz is a worthy return. He’s big (6’5) and fast, thrives in the pick-and-roll and shoots over 41 percent from Elite Mens Jack Doyle Jersey three. He has every tool and incredible instincts as a scorer. There are no obvious holes in his skill set.