|Posted by shawn cassidy on February 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM|
Bulls(23-6, 14-5 away)
Celtics(14-12, 10-7 home)
3:30 PM ET, February 12, 2012
TD Garden, Boston, MA
Points Rebounds Assists
CHI Rose 22.0 Noah 9.5 Rose 7.8
BOS Pierce 18.1 Garnett 7.5 Rondo 9.5
Is this a must win? I never really believe in must win games, but today's game has that feel to it. The Celtics square off against the best team in the league, and the Celtics are on mini losing streak, and the last loss was ugly by every sense of the word. Doc's blow up was big, and I think today's game will be impacted by Doc's blow up more than the game against Toronto. Rondo will be picked apart if he doesn't out work Rose, and out play Rose today. The Celtics need to make another statement, and I hate saying that about a team that has future hall of fame players on the roster. But this game is a must win for the Celtics for them, and not for the fans. We can get an idea today of where the Celtics are mentally.
After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers by one point in overtime Thursday, Boston looked lifeless a night later against lowly Toronto, never leading in an 86-74 loss. The Celtics, who had won nine of ten before Thursday's defeat, dropped back-to-back games for the first time since a five-game skid Jan. 6-16.
"We just didn't show the mental toughness," Paul Pierce said. "We feel like we're getting so close to being the team we want to be and to take a couple of steps back is definitely frustrating. These are games we're supposed to win."
Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo all struggled against the Raptors, combining for 23 points on 9-of-29 shooting. I expect two,or even all three players to bounce back,
The Celtics fell to 1-10 when scoring 88 points or fewer, which doesn't bode well against a Chicago team that allows an average of 86.9 points.