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Friday, April 8, 2011

Who is going to stop the D Rose and the Chicago Bulls?

It had been a long time (January 8) since the Boston Celtics had played the Chicago Bulls.

I knew Derrick Rose was playing at an MVP level and the Bulls were on fire but it was another thing to see them up close last night.

Let me say this: after watching Chicago (58-20) roll to a 97-81 win over the Celts (54-24) at the United Center, you have to say that without question, Chicago is the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

Hell maybe even the NBA. I know the Lakers always sleepwalk through the end of the regular season and then turn it on in the playoffs but damn, Rose (30 points, 8 assists) and the Bulls are playing awesome.

Basically Chicago seems like a younger, better version of the Celtics. They play outstanding defense, they're deep, they have a great coach (who knows everything about Boston) and most importantly, they employ Rose.

Nobody makes Rajon Rondo (7 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds) look as bad as Derrick Rose does. His combination of size, speed and toughness is too much for Rondo to handle. There was some And-1 mixtape highlights last night as a couple times, Rose isolated on Rondo and blew by him with a filthy crossover. He still can't really shoot 3-pointers (2 for 5) but he hits his free throws (10 for 10) so Rose's game has never been at a higher level.

Luol Deng added 23 points for Chicago while Carlos Boozer had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Nobody on the Celtics had what you'd term a good game. Paul Pierce led Boston with 15 measly points, Kevin Garnett had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Jeff Green scored 10 points off the bench.

The good news is that should the seedings hold, Boston and Chicago wouldn't meet until the Eastern Conference Finals. Still, last night should make all the Green teamers tremble in fear when they hear about the Bulls and Rose.

Chicago led 26-18 after the first quarter and 48-43 at halftime. The Bulls started to pull away in the third (23-17) before taking it in the fourth (26-21).

The Bulls shot 47.4% to 38.4% for the Celtics. Chicago hit seven more 3-pointers (9-2) but Boston made nine more free throws (23-14). The Bulls pulled down nine more rebounds (44-35) and had seven more assists (21-14) and six more steals (9-3). Chicago made two more blocks (5-3) and most impressively, doubled up Boston in the paint (44-22).

Boston returns to TD Garden tonight to face the Washington Wizards. Last time these teams met, Washington shocked Boston in our nation's capital. It'll be interesting to see if Boston is into this game at all. They still have the No. 2 seed to play for but they could also mail it in while they wait for Miami on Sunday.

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