The opening round series between No. 1 Boston and No. 8 Chicago has been anything but predictable. The Chicago Bulls came out in game one and two looking like many projected they would during the regular season.
Coming into the season, the veteran leadership from Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo combined with a young star in Jimmy Butler made many think that this Chicago team was a championship contender. The regular season unfolded in exactly the opposite fashion. The Bulls barley made the playoffs and had locker room issues multiple times throughout the year.
However, the first two games of the playoffs exhibited an entirely different Bulls team who was ready to play and compete at the highest level. They took the first two games behind the leadership of Rondo who looked like he was playing back on the 2008 Boston Celtics championship team. Unfortunately, Rondo fractured his thumb and is now out for the remainder of the playoffs.
Without Rondo in the lineup, the series has completely shifted gears. The Celtics have taken the past two games at Chicago, which evened up the series at 2-2, and have all the momentum going back to Boston.
Game four saw Isiah Thomas in complete domination mode as he netted 33 points on four rebounds and seven assists. This series has been a roller-coaster of emotions for Thomas as his sister, Chyna, passed away last Saturday in a car accident.
“Mentally and emotionally, I’m not here so I just feed off what the guys give me,” Thomas explained. “They give me a lot of confidence. I can’t do it without those guys. They believe in me and being here is what makes me feel sane and somewhat normal through these tough times.”
The Celtics came out on fire and seemed like they could not miss a single shot. Gerald Green knocked down a few big shots early in the game in his first playoff start of the year and finished with 18 points.
Jimmy Butler led the way for Chicago as he finished with 33 points, five rebounds and nine assists.
This series now shifts back to Boston in a critical game 5 that will tip off on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST.