(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
By: Patrick Whalen
So the Celtics played good last night, really good actually and the Bulls did not play too good last night, atrocious actually. In fact with how good the Celtics played and how bad the Bulls played the Celtics won by a franchise record 56 points. Yes you read that right, 56 points the Celtics won by last night in Chicago with the final score being 133-77. This marks the Celtics 5th straight win incudling 4 of those 5 by at least 15 points or more. The 133 points by the C’s is also a new season high for the team. All of this coming with no Al Horford or Aron Baynes who were both out with injuries last night.
The Celtics were lead in scoring by no other than Jaylen Brown who followed up his performance aginst the Knicks with an even better one against the Bulls as he went for 23 points off the bench on 8-11 shooting including 3-3 from deep and this hammer slam.
The Celtics also had an unlikely player have his best game in a Celtic uniform last night in Daniel Theis. Filling in for Al Horford in the starting line up and with no Aron Baynes on the bench allowed Theis to get a career high 32 minutes of action and he took advantage of it going for 22 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks (Basketball-Reference.com). The points, assists and blocks were all career highs for Theis (NBC Sports Boston). Theis was scoring in every way last night whether it was catching an oop from smart or splashing a three.
Besides Brown and Theis the Celtics had 5 others in double figures last night including Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris, Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Semi Ojeleye. As a team the Celtics started out red hot jumping out to a 17 to 0 lead in the first quarter and they just didn’t look back after that keeping their foot on the gas all night long. The Celtics lowest scoring quaters were the second and third quarters where they still scored 29 points in each and to pile on to the hot start the Celtics dropped a 40 piece in the fourth quarter. As a team they shot 54% from the floor and 52% from three point range. The team also had 34 assists as a team compared to the Bulls 16.
The Celtic defense was also fantastic last night allowing a season low 77 points. This included not allowing a point until Jabari Parker hit a free throw with 5:42 left in the first quarter.
For three of the four quarters the Celtics held the Bulls to 17 points and allowed only 26 points in the second quarter. The Bulls shot an atrocious 38% from the field including 25% from thre point range (Basketball-Reference.com). The Celtic defense also force 15 turnovers on the night. The one negative for the Celtics on the night was that Guerschon Yabusele suffered an ankle sprain late in the fourth quarter and needed to be helped off the floor.
Another side note that was overshadowed by the blow margin last night was that Marcus Smart moved into a tied for 9th all time in franchise history for three pointers with none other than the GM Danny Anige (Max Lederman).
Overall this game was just a continuation of the great play the Celtics have been showing over their last 5 games. The offense has been firing on all cylinders and this game was a continuation of that but to see the defense step and play a complete game and just absolutley shut down this young Bulls team and not allow them to get anything going was fantastic to see. With this streak the Celtics have now climbed up to the 5th seed in the east and are now just 5 games back of the Raptors. Up next for the Celtics is the Pelicans on Monday as the Celtics return to the Garden. Two weeks ago the Celtics were able to get a win down in New Orleans by 17 points which started this 5 game win streak. Hopefully Al Horford will be back monday as he was held out with a sore knee, Aron Baynes may also return from his sprained ankle which he sufferd against the knicks last thursday. If both can retun to the floor it would be a big boost for the team as they will try and shut down Anothony Davis. Lets see if the boys can keep this streak rolling and extend it to 6 straight.