Rondo-Less Bulls Should Return to Reality in Game No. 3 

Well, what to say that hasn’t already been said about the Boston Celtics’ playoff situation? It’s a must-win situation, they have to play with more force, start Tyler Zeller, fire Brad Stevens, the list goes on. So yes, they’re in a bad situation and in jeopardy of being the first one-seed in NBA history buried in a 3-0 hole by an eighth-seed. But there is still reason to believe.

Face it. The first two games of this series were less about Boston’s shortcomings and more about the Bulls playing better basketball than they have all season.

Despite coming off of two of their best performances of the season, the Chicago Bulls…are the Chicago Bulls. They pretty much have to mess it up soon, right? Chicago’s mediocre 41-41 regular season record speaks volumes to their inconsistency.

Though some of the Bulls’ failure can be attributed to learning to gel as a group, keep in mind that Rajon Rondo spent half this season riding the bench (for some reason). Dwayne Wade has had his share of injuries. The trio of Rondo, Wade and Jimmy Butler don’t have a large resume of success together. That’s why it’s fair to believe Game No. 1 and Game No.  2 will soon be seen as major outliers compared to the Bulls’ season as a whole.

Now, the Bulls will be without Rondo, who was averaging 11.5 points per contest and 10 assists through the first two tilts, due to a broken right thumb. Advantage, Celtics.

Calm down. The Bulls are not some late-blooming super team ready to challenge Golden State for a title. They just played a couple of really good basketball games.

Optimism is tough when you’re a team facing a 2-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs. And yes it is time to panic a bit. But there’s no reason to completely lose faith. Talk all you want about what the Celtics can do better to win Game No. 3. And they absolutely must play better. However, the smart money is on the Bulls turning out to be exactly who we thought they were.

Game No. 3 tips off tonight at 7 p.m.

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