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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Celtics & Bulls Do Their Part To Set Basketball Back 20 Years

The events at TD Garden tonight, surely caused Dr. James Naismith to roll over in his grave (wherever that is located). The less said about Boston's (28-24, 20-9 home) 71-69 win over Chicago (30-22, 15-10 away) the better. The C's head into the All-Star break having won eight of their last nine games and playing their best basketball of the season despite suffering three major injuries in the last three weeks.

To give you a taste for how ugly this was, the Celts had 19 points combined in the second and third quarters but yet they still found a way to come out on top. As befitting a slopfest like that, Brandon Bass (14 points, 9 rebounds) was the game's high-scorer. Kevin Garnett had 12 points and 11 rebounds, Avery Bradley scored 10 points and Jason Terry notched 12 points off the bench.

Carlos Boozer (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Joakim Noah (10 points, 16 rebounds) were forces on the glass as usual but without Derrick Rose, the Bulls struggle to put the ball in the hoop: they are 27th in the NBA, averaging 93.6 points per game. Marco Belinelli scored 12 points off the bench and Jimmy Butler added 11 points and six rebounds.

Showing how tight the season series (2-2) was, the four games were decided by six points, 11 points, one point and two points. A return date in the postseason seems likely for these two similar squads.

With no Rondo, only KG will head to Houston this weekend for the All-Star Game. The rest of the Celtics get a much-needed break. They are off until next Tuesday when they begin a season-high five game road trip in Denver (9 p.m., CSN). Boston seems to always struggle on the West Coast but let me say on the record that they don't exactly face a murderer's row from the superior Western Conference: Nuggets, Lakers, Suns, Blazers and Jazz. Only Denver and Utah are over .500 and expected to make the playoffs this season. A 3-2 mark would be fine by me, considering how tough it is to win in Denver and Utah.

UPDATE 2/18: The Celtics signed former lottery pick Terrence Williams (2009, 11th overall pick by the Nets) to a 10-day contract. Most recently, he was playing in China after flaming out in New Jersey, Houston, Detroit and Sacramento. The former Louisville swingman has never really made an impression in the NBA after a solid collegiate career. He's worth a shot for the C's who just need healthy bodies at this point.

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