The series between the No. 1 seeded Celtics and the No. 8 seeded Bulls continues to be the strangest in the NBA playoffs. While the Bulls came out and won Game 1 and 2 in Boston, the Celtics turned right around and won Games 3 and 4 in Chicago. They say a series doesn’t start until a road team wins, but this series has no time for regular rules. The first team to win a game at home wins this series. This is Celtics-Bulls in 2017.
The one thing that was clear in Game 4 was that Isaiah Thomas was having fun again while playing basketball. After suffering the tragic loss of his sister just before the start of the playoffs, it put Thomas in an extremely tough spot trying to navigate his emotions while also playing basketball. On Sunday, after his fantastic performance of 33 points, seven assists, and four rebounds, he was able to find some time to smile. After all that he and his family have been through, a happy Thomas is something we can all root for. A win too is just icing on the cake.
The Celtics have regained homecourt advantage, and now this series becomes a best-out-of-three with two of those games back in Boston. It’s hard to get a real handle on these two teams, but we at have least two more games to figure that out. For the Celtics, Brad Stevens went with his starters at the 10:10 mark of the fourth quarter and never looked back. It proved to work as they were able to hold off a Bulls’ run that started in the third quarter.
For the Bulls, things oddly changed in this series when they lost Rajon Rondo after Game 2. Rondo was not a prominent part of the Bulls’ regular season, but he was in Games 1 and 2 of the playoffs. Now without him, the Bulls have had to rely on Isaiah Canaan and Michael Carter-Williams for minutes. For Canaan, Sunday was his first-ever playoff game, scoring 13 points. It was a brave performance, but the Bulls are missing the play of Rondo.
Game 5 is in Boston on Wednesday.