Celtics/Bulls Game 2 Recap
by Russ Bengtson
I should be in Boston.
Either that, or I shouldn’t be watching this at all. I didn’t see a single minute of Game One—I was out at CitiField for Mets vs. Brewers on a beautiful 70-degree day—and stayed up-to-date by furiously updating my Twitter feed. It was hard to appreciate Johan Santana’s brilliant performance because I knew I was missing Derrick Rose’s first-ever playoff game. And of course he went on to have one of the best playoff debuts in NBA history.
There’s been a lot of talk since about Derrick Rose doing what Michael Jordan never could. What, beat the ’86 Celtics in a playoff game? If these Bulls played those Celtics, the five-game series would have been over in one game. There’s no mercy rule, you say? There would have been, says I. And I shudder to think what the Jordan-led Bulls would have done to the Garnett-less Celtics.
Not to say these Celtics are terrible. Far from it. Yes, they’re missing the profane heart and soul of their defense. And yes, the Bulls took Game One in Boston. But they needed overtime and a missed Paul Pierce free throw at the end of regulation to do it. And Ray Allen shot like Tim Allen. Chances are good that, by the end of the night, this series will be even.
Joakim Noah falls on the first play, tweaks his ankle. I’m sure this has nothing to do with it being 4/20.
Kevin Garnett looks like a college professor: The completely f*cking nutty professor.
Doug Collins gives Vinny Del Negro credit for “growth” as a coach. I suppose this is just the coaching fraternity protecting one of its own. But I can’t help but think that Vinny was extremely lucky that Luol Deng went down when he did, or else he would have had to make crucial decisions about playing time and half-assed them right into the lottery.
Doug Collins just used the word “myriad” and we’re not even three minutes into the game.
Derrick Rose having two fouls less than four minutes in is BAD.
Wait, you mean the Celtics aren’t going to just roll over and die? And Paul Pierce can dunk? Get out of town!
Out of the timeout, there’s a sloppy Bulls turnover, followed by a pell-mell Rondo full-court drive which sends him to the line. That’s right, these guys ARE the defending champs. Rondo misses the second, the C’s get the offensive board, and its 15-6 Celtics.
Noah falls down again. Dude, where’s my balance?
The Bulls are getting zero second chances, and the Celtics are well on their way to fouling out the entire Chicago backcourt. Apparently Rajon Rondo heard all the hyperbole about Derrick Rose and said “hang on a minute.” 18-6, Celtics.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are getting more second chances than Roy Tarpley.
I’m sort of surprised Ben Gordon hasn’t changed his number to his agent’s phone number.
Someone in the pre-game—maybe it was Kenny—said that Ray Allen is a veteran and an All-Star, that he shouldn’t have any trouble getting untracked or on track or whatever the hell the expression is. Um, wasn’t he awful through the entire playoffs righ up until the Finals last year?
The Bulls have settled down. 28-23, Celtics. And Big Baby makes like two George Gervins glued together and finger rolls.
Big Baby. Again. He’s gonna make KG cry on the bench. Speaking of KG, the diamonds in his ears would feed Africa for a decade. Or Big Baby for a month and a half.
I’d totally forgotten that Steph was a Celtic. The Bulls counter with Lindsey Hunter, who’s been thawed expressly for the occasion.
Rajon Rondo is going to foul out the entire Bulls team by the end of the third quarter.
Mikki Moore is so angular his nickname should be “The Protractor.”
Brad Miller is scrappy, do you know?
Tyrus Thomas is well on his way to a Reggie Miller approved 10-block night. Three in the first quarter.
Celtics up 35-29 after one. Not bad for the Bulls offense, an unmitigated disaster for their alleged defense. The fact that Hinrich and Rose are both in foul trouble already does not bode well.
If I’m a coach, and someone wants to interview me during a playoff game, I’m telling them to f*ck off. David Aldridge I’d tell politely, but still.
Rose is back. Marbury is guarding him. Good luck with all that.
Derrick Rose has taken two shots so far tonight. The second one missed quite badly.
Two minutes into the second with nary a Celtics point. Bulls have cut the lead to two.
And the Bulls take a one-point lead following yet another Tyrus swat (on Kendrick “Sir Talx-a-lot” Perkins) and a Brad Miller trey. Time out, Boston.
Doc tech, Salmons missed FT. Sigh.
What does Rajon have, like 47 points?
And like that the Celtics are back up five, and Tyrus is trying to dribble and turning it over. One step at a time, T.
Big Baby is on fire, and on the sidelines Kevin Garnett is spouting curses like a dockworker with movie Tourette’s. All over the world, elderly lipreaders are learning new words and possibly having heart attacks.
Bulls cut it back to three courtesy of a pair of Ben Gordon free throws. That sequence will be in his video resume, available right after the final buzzer.
And Derrick Rose is on the board. One-point game again. Ray Allen’s shooting touch is still in the Amazon or the Arctic or the outback or somewhere. Doc should send Scalabreezy (dressed in the KG starter kit) to go look for it.
The House, the House, the House is on fire. Also, Rajon Rondo is good at basketball. And, um, hurt after landing awkwardly on a layup attempt. If he’s out, the Celtics are toast.
The Inside the NBA “Wolverine” infomercial is depressing. And probably scripted as hell.
Rajon Rondo is limping, and out of the game for the moment. 5:03 to go in the first half.
Will the Celtics frontcourt foul out before the Bulls backcourt?
Brad Miller’s mouthguard is Skoal flavored.
Rajondo appears to be done for the first half at the very least. The Celtics are clinging to a three-point lead, and Stephon Marbury is looking to shoot. Somewhere, Isiah Thomas is blaming someone else.
And a Ben Gordon runner puts the Bulls up one. The Celtics are in disarray. Turnover, and a clear path foul sends Gordon to the line. Bulls up three with the ball and a minute left in the second quarter. Gordon misses, but Linton Johnson is there for the follow. And the Celtics turn it over again, and they foul again. This time it’s Steph fouling Lindsey Hunter, who hasn’t shot a free throw since the 1953 Finals.
Paul Pierce buries a jumper, and I’m not sure whether they’re going to him often enough. Shouldn’t he be touching the ball on every possession and shooting it on half of them? Not sure whose fault it is, either.
The Bulls miss a couple of ill-advised shots badly, and Pierce goads Linton Johnson into a foul where he was obviously shooting on the move from 27 feet. Pierce hits two of three freebies, Gordon misses a 30-foot pull-up, and it’s 61-58 Bulls at the half.
Rondo is back to start the third, which isn’t much of a surprise seeing that a) he’s the only guy playing well for the Celtics, and b) if they lose, it’s over.
Wow, Leon Powe is out for the game, if not the series, if not the playoffs. Where Dino Radja and Acie Earl at?
OK, Big Baby is playing well, too. Provided he doesn’t pick up that fourth foul soon. Pretend it’s broccoli, Baby!
This is only a theory, mind you, but if the Celtics players didn’t find out KG might be out for the playoffs until the eve of the playoffs, mightn’t that have really torn their hearts out? At least had they known ahead of time, they could have digested the news and started working on other things.
Big Baby just crashed into the stands and killed the dinosaurs.
John Salmons, trey. Bulls back in the lead.
Ray Allen has hit two shots in a row. Unlike last game when he didn’t hit two shots.
Big Baby’s arms are like legs with hands on them.
Ben Gordon continues his open tryout.
Big Baby is playing like a cross between Nate Thurmond and a pregnant rhinoceros.
I have no problem with Noah getting a T for going after Kendrick Perkins. I do have a problem with ONLY Noah getting a T. And with Noah not punching Perk in the mouth.
Tyrus Thomas jumpers from the top of the key going in confuse me.
A Ray Allen triple stretches the Celtic lead to five. And Rondo already has a triple double? Yep, 15, 10 and 10, with four steals and a swole-up ankle. He has the right to start slapping teammates in the face as far as I’m concerned. And he should start with Perkins.
Ben Gordon with the triple out of the time out, and he’s got 22. Doug Collins gives Vinny credit for the play, and I grudgingly agree.
Another three. Ben Gordon is out of his mind. I presume someone told him every quarter is the fourth quarter tonight.
Big Baby is 10 for 16 with 20 points.
Brad Miller either misses a 20-footer by three feet, or finds Joakim Noah inside with a perfect pass. I presume the latter but with Brad Miller you can’t be sure.
Hold up Brad Miller has 16? And Big Baby fires up a heat-check airball.
Joakim Noah and Kendrick Perkins wind up in a tie-up after diving, and surprisingly no punches are thrown.
Ben Gordon ties it back up on another long jumper, and Paul Pierce unties it just as quickly.
There are 45,982 things ahead of “Joakim Noah shooting a 20-footer” on my “Things I’d Like to See in an NBA Game” list. Among them are “Jared Jeffries going coast-to-coast” and “Ben Wallace shooting three consecutive free throws.”
Salmons somehow throws up an airball that looks almost exactly like a made basket.
Rajon Rondo is faster on a sprained ankle than most players are on, um, unsprained ankles. Can we start calling him “Insane Bolt”? Tyrus Thomas gets the block, though, and the Celtics cling to a two-point lead headed into the fourth. Big Baby is receiving a much-needed IV of Hershey’s Syrup.
According to Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo has to keep his speed over 50 mph or else he’ll blow up. Something like that anyway.
Big buckets by Perkins and Pierce in the paint.
Rondo negates a terrific steal with a horrific turnover.
If Tyrus Thomas really develops an 18-footer, watch out.
Salmons misses a three, but House shoves Brad Miller underneath and is called for the foul. Pure comedy.
Derrick Rose puts the Bulls up 1 with eight minutes left and Pierce catching a blow on the bench. Trouble? Not with Ray Allen shooting the way he’s been shooting. Triple. Maybe Kenny was right.
Paul Pierce has rested long enough. Exit Eddie House. A pair of Gordon free throws re-tie it.
Perkins with a big offensive board off an Allen miss, and the putback. Speaking of Allen, whatever happened to Tony? Kirk Hinrich comes back with a triple to put the Bulls back up 1 with seven minutes to go.
Bulls three-on-one break, Hinrich to Noah, Allen fails in taking the charge, and-one for Joakim. Bulls break 100 first, and it’s 101-97 with 6:20 to go.
Ray Allen chews his gum like it owes him money.
Ray Allen, three. That’s 24, 22 in the second half. Bulls up 101-100. We’ve got a burnbarner.
Much as I hate to admit it, Kendrick Perkins is backing up his big mouth with some big play down the stretch. Celtics up one, and the Bulls follow with a 24-second violation. We’re under five minutes.
Pierce misses, Big Baby retrieves, and Pierce does not miss the second opportunity. On the other end, Rose converts a second chance as Baby and Perk fall down.
Rose drive, kickout to Gordon, three pointer. Good. That’s 33 for Gordon and a two-point lead for the Bulls. Closing in on three minutes. And Gordon buries yet another three with 3:11 to go. Gordon is on fire, and Kevin Harlan is having another one of his trademarked hardwood paroxysms.
Ray Allen with a miss, Brad Miller with a big rebound, Ray Allen with a tieup. And the Celtics get a delay of game preparing for a jump ball? Seriously?
Big Baby baby. He’s got 24. Three-point game with two minutes to go. Make it one—Rondo on a breakout off a Pierce strip of Brad Miller. Ruh-roh. Vinny Del Negro calls time out to use a lifeline.
Getting the ball in Ben Gordon’s hands in the fourth quarter is rarely a bad idea. That’s 38, and Bulls by three. 1:11.
Brad Miller lays some wood on Big Baby. Better than giving up a layup. Baby hits ‘em both, Noah can’t convert on the other end, and Rondo wets a 22-footer over Noah with a minute to go. Celtics by one.
Ben Gordon, huge shot. That’s 40. Bulls by one under a minute.
Rondo misses, tracks down the rebound, and gets it to Allen for a three. Huge. He’s got 27. Boston by two, 20.1 seconds left. Brad Miller is in the game for his shooting. Terrific.
Ben Gordon might be able to be stopped, but not by the Celtics. Not tonight. He’s got 42, and we’re knotted at 115 with 12.3 to go. Also, whoever did this study can eat rocks.
Call me crazy, but I bet Ray Allen gets the ball.
Chicago is out of time outs late for the second straight game. Dear Vinny, please learn to count. Love, Russ.
Ray Allen gets the ball. Three over Noah. And the Bulls can’t stop the clock.
GAME OVER. 118-115, Boston. And we’re knotted at one apiece headed back to Chicago.
Grass is green. Rondo is fast. Vinny is clueless. The series is tied.