Everyone counted them out. Even before this first series started, many were doubting Boston’s ability to make a run for an NBA championship. Dropping the first two games of the series to the Bulls made it seem like these people were right on the spot with their predictions.
A newly found sense of urgency has kicked in for this young Celtics unit, however. With a 108-97 win last night, Boston took their first lead of the series and are only one win away from advancing to the next round of playoffs.
Neither team had won at home before last night. The Bulls took the first two games at Boston and the Celtics took the next to games in Chicago.
While Isaiah Thomas led this team as he always does, Avery Bradley was the difference maker. Bradley finished with 24 points, six rebounds and one assist. He also played crucial role on defense as he has the entire season.
The emergence of a counterpart to Thomas is absolutely huge for this Celtics team. Thomas has carried this team the entire season and the team has really lived and died by his performance. If his supporting cast had an off-night, his performance alone was not enough to give Boston a win the majority of the time. This was the kryptonite of the Celtics all year.
Not only are other players rising to the occasion, they are going above and beyond which has elevated this Boston team to a whole other level.
Jimmy Butler had an uncharacteristically bad performance last night netting only 14 points. Dwyane Wade led the bulls with 26 points. While the offense was not clicking for Chicago, the defense was what hurt them the most. They seemed out of sync the entire night which became a hole they could not bury themselves out of.
It was plays like these that showed how out of touch they were with each other on defense.
Father Prime has no time for defense 😂 pic.twitter.com/8zo0AWSI2N
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 27, 2017
The series will head back to Chicago for game 6 as the Bulls have their season on the line. This game will tip off from the United Center on Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.