Dazzling on the same parquet floor where he once roamed for nine seasons, Rondo finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and a franchise playoff-record-tying 14 assists as the Bulls shot 51.1 percent.
"It's not ideal, but we feel like we can bounce back", said Jae Crowder. "That's where your confidence always comes from".
Game 3 is in Chicago on Friday night as the Celtics face the possibility of not playing in front of their home fans again this season. Game 2 is a must-win for the Celtics and it will be interesting to see how the Celtics play especially Isaiah Thomas after a few days to think about the tragic loss of his sister. However, the Celtics lost game one at home to the Chicago Bulls and will have to pick up their play to win the series.
There was nothing that prompted Hoiberg to bench Rondo in Game 2, as he sat for a grand total of just eight minutes on the night. However, Boston was just 10 of 33 from 3-point range.
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Chicago again used its big men to push the Celtics out of the paint and was quicker to the ball in a lot of 50-50 situations. The Bulls outscored the Celtics in the paint 32-20 for the half. In fact, according to Avery Bradley, he could hear Rondo saying the Celtics gave up. The Celtics just don't have the personnel to combat Chicago's rugged style of play in the paint. "As a polished team we have to know when to take those shots and when not to". As Bradley told reporters following the game, they can't continue this series with their heads down. Thomas missed six of his 13 free throws, had two assists and committed five turnovers. Since steals became an official statistic in 1973-74, the only players with three such games are Rondo and Jordan. If Miles had knocked down the shot or if George had hit a wide open Lance Stephenson underneath the rim as soon as James came with the double, the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference would've all been upset.
Wade said the Bulls' performance so far in this series is a testament to how much they've grown.
In any sport, the one thing a team can't prepare for is the unknown. Not to say our teammates aren't going to support us as well, but we're family so it's different.
Wade named the handful of players in the league who can fill up the scorebook and guard the opposing team's best scorer. Boston got outrebounded 53-36 while allowing 20 offensive boards leading to 23 second-chance points.