Butler, who scored 30 points in Game 1, had another strong showing in Game 2 with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, but the Celtics were undone by his helpers and the lack of assistance they provided Thomas, who scored 20 points on 6-of-15 shooting.
Rondo's performance, and the Celtics' lack of a response, left many shaking their heads, including the Celtics themselves - and while the game was still going on. Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas are small guards, so it's not their fault if they don't get a lot of rebounds.
"I just stayed in the gym and worked", Rondo said.
SAN ANTONIO | Kawhi Leonard had a postseason career-high 37 points and added 11 rebounds and San Antonio beat Memphis to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series. "That's what you hope you have in a team, but it's probably not always the case".
Thomas played through tears Sunday night and scored 33 points in the Celtics' 106-102 playoff-opening loss against the Bulls - just a day after his 22-year-old sister died in a single-car accident on Interstate 5 in Federal Way, Wash.
Thomas will play again tonight in game two and over the weekend when the series moves to Chicago.
Speaking during Cleveland's shootaround ahead of their Game 2 against IN on Monday, James expressed sympathy for Thomas's situation. Since steals became an official statistic in 1973-74, the only players with three such games are Rondo and Jordan. "I'm not quite sure who's in his life", James told reporters in Cleveland.
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In any sport, the one thing a team can't prepare for is the unknown.
The series shifts to Chicago on Friday night for Game 3. His performance helped Chicago become just the second eight-seed in National Basketball Association history to take a 2-0 series lead over a conference top seed. "Once you do your job defensively, you get in your defensive coverages, and then the shot finally goes out, sometimes you just get caught staring at the shot like, 'OK, I've done my job.' But the job isn't over until you actually get in front of your man and get the ball".
"We have to play hard no matter what", Bradley said.
"Jae said it best, that's all we have".
"When we moved him back in the starting lineup, obviously he was ready for it".
Because the Bulls got so many second-chance opportunities to score, the Celtics were scrambling on defense and were unable to contain Jimmy Butler in the fourth quarter. They were maddeningly inconsistent, which meant that the team, nor its fan base, knew which group of players were going to show up for each game.