Celtics/Bulls Game 3 Recap
Oh that’s right, the Cs ARE the defending champs.
By Russ Bengtson
I’m not sure whether there’s much point in analyzing a 21-point blowout that was, if anything, even more lopsided than the score would indicate. It’s the equivalent of autopsying someone who got run over by a train—sure, something else may have killed them first, BUT THEY GOT RUN OVER BY A TRAIN. Dead is dead.
I come not to praise the Bulls, but to bury them. God knows I wish things were different. I wish they were able to shut down Ray Allen at the end of Game Two. I wish they came back to the United Center brimming with confidence. I wish they didn’t turn the ball over 350 times in Game Three. I wish Tyrus Thomas hit a few more people before he got T’ed up. But here we are. The Celtics have regained home court advantage as well as their composure. And after that stirring performance in Game One, the Bulls are going to be lucky to stretch this to Game Six. The Celtics have no interest in duplicating last year, except for the final result.
But the Bulls are young. We hear this a lot. And they are—John Salmons is their only starter who wasn’t born in the ‘80s (and he missed by less than three weeks). Derrick Rose was actually born in 1988, which doesn’t even seem possible. So even if they lose this series, which seems likely, it’s not the end of the world. The experience should help Rose and Thomas and Noah moving forward, and maybe Vinny Del Negro will learn how to count time outs. But the Bulls have had the same problem since ’99. Youth. They’ve been the equivalent of a college team, drafting young and letting them go after a couple of years. Potential is always there, but somehow it never turns into anything—they’re like a kid who resets whatever video game he’s playing anytime he makes the slightest mistake: “Whoops, may as well start over.” Which is fine, I suppose, but at some point you just have to say fuck it and play through.
Derrick Rose is presented with the ROY before the tip. Kevin Love throws stuff at his TV.
The Celtics are getting fewer second opportunities than they did in Game Two, but the Bulls are giving them more first opportunities by turning the ball over early and often.
Missed free throws have also been a problem.
And Ben Gordon hasn’t hit a shot yet.
And Paul Pierce is 5-5 with 11 points midway through the first.
Other than that, the Bulls are in fantastic shape.
A time-out leads to another Bulls turnover and another Paul Pierce bucket. Consistency is important.
Derrick Rose is on the board.
Paul Pierce has missed.
Rose is getting going, but Rondo’s been going non-stop since the series started. Celtics up 27-16, and Brad Miller is in the game. This game is just getting better and better.
Seven turnovers for the Bulls with three minutes to go in the first quarter.
Rondo gets called for a flagrant on Joakim Noah, and millions of television viewers think “yeah, I would have done that, too.”
If Ray Allen’s shots were falling, the Bulls would be down 20 by now.
Celtics by 11, 32-21, after 1. Rondo buries a three with 2.8 ticks left to set the margin. I thought he couldn’t shoot?
The Bulls just look young. Which is crazy, because they were the “Baby Bulls” back in 2001 and it doesn’t seem like they’ve gotten any older. Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo is good at basketball.
The Bulls have 11 turnovers with 10 minutes to go in the first half. Outstanding.
Derrick Rose is aggressive. So are the fans, who are chanting “LETS GO BULLS” at the top of their lungs.
The Bulls are shooting 35 percent, have turned the ball over 11 times, yet are somehow only trailing by nine. Amazing.
And Rajon Rondo has seven rebounds. Noah has eight. Rondo’s averaging something like 11 boards through the first two games, which is downright disgusting. Doesn’t he weigh like 150 pounds?
Hang on, I have to go score the official Derrick Rose Rookie of the Year t-shirt on NBA.com.
Noah dunk, Pierce three, Bulls down 10.
Rajon Rondo makes such a great pass that the Bulls call time to consider forfeiting. Either that or Vinny’s just trying to use up all his time outs as soon as possible so he doesn’t have to worry about them anymore.
Someone needs to tell Ben Gordon it’s the fourth quarter.
Celtics up 15. BUT! Gordon hits a floater.
Rondo takes a seat with a little over three minutes left in the quarter. Marbury takes his place.
Split-screen interviews are THE worst, even when they’re being done by my main man David Aldridge. IT’S THE PLAYOFFS, CAN WE JUST WATCH THE GAMES, PLEASE?
Then again, Joakim Noah shooting free throws is nothing I need to see.
Steph 3, Steph corral loose ball, Steph corral another loose ball, Steph find Ray Allen for a three. Celtics by 19. Fantastic.
Another three for Ray Allen. Hello, TNT blowout. 59-37 at the half. Thirty-seven?
8:41, Celtics up 25.
And Tyrus Thomas gets a much-deserved T after elbowing Paul Pierce in the mouth and then shoving Big Baby. T Squared could have been T’ed up HOURS ago—it’s been that kind of night. He’s replaced by Tim Thomas, who may not even be aware that this is the playoffs.
Ben Gordon is heating up, and the Celtics lead is cut to 20. If the Bulls can get that lead down to zero by the end of the game, they’ve got a real shot!
Seventeen turnovers. Good going, fellas. The guys in green are NOT your friends.
They put a mic on KG for this game, but it melted.
Boston hasn’t scored from the floor in nearly four minutes, which would probably be a major concern if they weren’t up 20.
Paul Pierce pump fakes, gets Salmons to crash into him, and chucks up a three to try and get a call. He doesn’t, but it goes in. Of course. Celtics back up 26 with four minutes to go in the third.
Rondo is technically in foul trouble, picking up his fourth with three minutes to go in the third, but does it really matter?
Leaving Stephon Marbury wide open probably isn’t the best idea ever.
Did the Bulls let the Celtics use their locker room and sleep with their wives and girlfriends too? “Hey, take the Bentley. No, it’s fine, I’ll walk.”
Tim Thomas and Stephon Marbury on the floor together in a playoff game means you probably shouldn’t be watching. It also means the fans of one of the teams involved are probably very upset.
There’s really no point in chronicling this any further unless the Bulls can pull off a huge run.
Celtics up 30 with nine minutes to play.
I just looked up and Stephon Marbury has band-aids on his face that look sort of like Mike Tyson’s tattoo.
The Celtics are still up 30 and Aaron Gray is in the game.
It’s 102-68, Celtics. I think Lawler’s Law may apply tonight.