Boston heads to ChiTown for a battle with the hungry Bulls. With Zach LaVine finally back in the lineup, they picked up a huge win over the Hornets on Thursday. The only issue was that the Wizards also won, so time is all but up for Chicago, who projects to miss a fourth straight postseason without Jimmy Butler around.
Boston has been a bit up and down but looks like a playoff hopeful. They are still tight with Miami for the final non-play-in spot. Funny to see these teams where they now stand because they played in the Eastern Conference Finals a season ago. It’s pretty safe to say that neither club will be getting quite that far this time around, barring the unforeseen. Let’s see what the Jaylen Brown-less Celtics have up their sleeve.
Chicago was able to conquer Buzz City in the game, where they finally got Zach LaVine back. He had sat out 12 in a row in health and safety protocol, and boy, are they happy he’s back. The team wasn’t winning at a high clip right before he went down, so it’s hard to say what may change in the next week with him playing again. Let’s see if the Bulls can emerge with a much-needed win.
The spread for Friday night is set at Boston -3. The over/under is slated at 222.5 points.
Boston Looks for Critical Win
Every time the Celtics win a game, they are putting pressure on Miami to do the same. It’s pretty clear that the re-tooled Heat are not at all what they were a season ago. They have a number of different guys around, and unfortunately, still no Oladipo. Boston still has work to do on their bench, but Payton Pritchard and Evan Fournier are certainly great to have around.
After missing several games with some knee issues, Kemba Walker emerged as a star against Orlando earlier in the week. He was finding his shots all over the place and getting into the passing lane with great frequency. When he’s locked in and scoring like that, the team is hard to beat. He was very mediocre in last year’s postseason.
Can Boston beat Theis, their old pal?
Chicago Seeking Big Victory
The play-in hopes are pretty much dead for a Bulls team still trying to figure some things out. Coby White and Lauri Markkanen have declined considerably over the last six weeks, and it has killed the team. Daniel Theis is starting ahead of both Thad Young and Markkanen, next to Nikola Vucevic. Nobody could have seen that move coming.
Brad Stevens did the same thing when he had Theis, but it clearly did not work well. Young brings energy off the bench and can play several positions. But, he would be better off bringing those skills into the first five. The rotations have been iffy, and they have got to add some more talent so the duo of LaVine and Vucevic can take them to the playoffs next season.
Boston will get it done, coming away with a key win over Chicago.
Free Play: BOS -3
Over/Under: OVER 222.5
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