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Game thread: Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls

The Boston Celtics finally come back home Tuesday night after going an abysmal 1-4 over their five-game road trip. It was not a pretty week for the C’s. The team is in a major rut right now as they went down by double-digits in every one of these past five games. Tonight, they host the Chicago Bulls, and it is a must-win from a confidence stand point.

This is the game Boston needs to dominate to gain some kind of momentum and leave that road trip in the past. The Bulls are a young and banged up team even a month into the season. Chicago has the sixth worst defensive rating in the league, and the Celtics offense has a great chance to get going in front of a home crowd against this poor defense.

The Bulls are 4-10 this season and looking like they just do not have the talent each night to keep up with most teams in the league. Kris Dunn, their scoring point guard, and Lauri Markkanen, their promising rookie from last year, have both been hurt which has not helped their cause. They have a very young roster showcasing Zach LaVine who is the leading scorer with 27.1 points per game. He is the gauge of this team. If LaVine is not scoring at his average, the Bulls as a whole will struggle offensively.

Another player to enjoy is Wendell Carter Jr. He was the first-round pick by the Bulls out of Duke in this year’s draft. Carter is averaging 11.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. His defense is what has shined through more than anything else. Only a few games into his NBA career, he already looks like he belongs battling down low. Averaging 2.1 blocks per game, he makes driving point guards think twice before challenging him on shots around the rim. Kyrie must keep that in mind tonight.

The story line from the Celtics terrible start has been the offense taking forever to get into a groove. There are too many mouths to feed, and no one is handling the situation well resulting in this disastrous start to the season. This can all be cured with a solid offensive performance against one of the league’s worst defenses. It would be ideal if the starters can move the ball around creating open looks for everyone to get going. We must remember, this is the same Bulls defense who gave up 92 points in a half against the Golden State Warriors. The opportunities will be there, they just have to get out of the rut and make some dang shots.

The Celtics come into this one healthy with no scratches from the lineup. However, for the Bulls, the list is long with injuries. As mentioned, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn will be out in his one both coming back from long injuries. In addition, Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine will both miss this game as well resulting in a shallow bench for Coach Hoiberg and the Bulls.

The starters will most likely be the same as we saw in Portland. If this becomes out of hand, the bench could see an increase of minutes. Heck, they have played better than the starters anyway for most of this season. The Celtics need to win this game convincingly. There is no way around this one. At home against inferior competition. It is a must win.

Projected Starters

PG – Kyrie IrvingRyan Arcidiacono

SG – Jaylen Brown – Zach LaVine

SF – Gordon HaywardJustin Holiday

PF – Jayson TatumJabari Parker

C – Al HorfordWendell Carter Jr.

Injuries

Boston – None!

Chicago- Lauri Markkanen (Elbow); Kris Dunn (Knee); Bobby Portis (Sprained MCL); Denzel Valentine (Ankle)

How to Watch

Time – 7:30 PM EST

TV – NBC Sports Boston

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