By MyFM's Ray Auger - On Friday, when Rajon Rondo was declared out with a broken thumb I knew the Celtics and Bulls series was about to get really interesting. The Celtics were in an 0-2 hole after dropping both games in Boston during a tough week. Rondo had been a catalyst for a feisty Bulls team that showed up to play and now he was done for the forseeable future. To me, this was a very, very big deal.
Fast-forward to today, Monday, and the series in now tied at two games apiece. The Celtics regrouped and went to Chicago with a purpose. They left on Sunday night with home court advantage back, and in the driver’s seat in this series. I believe these developments have to do with a number of things, but I definitely believe that the Rajon Rondo injury is a key factor.
On Sunday, I knew the Celtics needed to come harder than they have all year because the Bulls would be ready for them this time. After taking Game 3, the Bulls knew the Celtics were awake and ready to roll again so Boston had to push their foot down on the gas pedal even more to knot the series up. They did just that and grabbed a 104-95 win.
Isaiah Thomas had another stellar game as he dropped 33 points, dished out seven assists and grabbed four rebounds. He was only 1-of-9 from three-point range but he was very successful driving the lane and getting to the basket all night long. Gerald Green impressed as he got his second straight start and scored 18 points while grabbing seven boards. Al Horford also showed up to play again as he registered 15 points, four assists and 12 rebounds.
In the end, the Celtics left the Bulls reeling and looking like the dysfunctional team that they have been for most of the year. Without Rondo, Bulls guard Jimmy Butler is left to do almost all of the work and Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg looks lost. Hoiberg is already resorting to making excuses and criticizing the referees, which is not a good sign for a team that is in a tied series.
It also seems that the Celtics are causing the Bulls to lose their composure on the court as Marcus Smart has gotten into the head of Butler by agitating him. Smart and Butler came nose to nose during the game, which resulted in technical fouls for both players. We’ll see how that feud progresses moving forward in the series.
Game 5 is in Boston on Wednesday night. Neither team has won a game at home yet during the series and Boston will try to break that trend to take a 3-2 series lead.