Further decimated by injury, Boston will have to get production out of the remaining nine players who receive significant minutes.
Since Tom Thibodeau took over in Chicago, the team has consistently been one of the best defensive club’s in the league.
This season, the Bulls are third in points allowed, surrendering just 91.9 points per game.
However, most of the Celtics offense comes from the transition game, where it is very difficult to defend and is significantly less methodical than when defending in the half court.
This is why the first key to tonight’s contest is Boston’s defense. Getting stops is how you create transition opportunities. The Bulls are just 27th in points per game, producing 93.6 points a game.
There is no Derrick Rose, and even his backup Kirk Hinrich, did not travel with the team.
If the Celtics clamp down defensively, it will create scoring and likely a win, in what is sure to be another tough test for this team.
The second key to tonight’s game is rebounding. Chicago is sixth in this category, averaging 43.6 boards per game.
Boston will have to work as a unit to keep the Bulls, especially Joakim Noah, off the glass.
Limiting second chance opportunities for the 27th ranked offense will certainly make life difficult for them; not to mention, generate transition scoring.
If the Celtics get efficient minutes out of all nine of the active players who are consistently relied upon and they can clamp down defensively, while controlling the boards; the team will likely register yet another impressive win.