Only five No.8 seeds in NBA history have upset set the No.1 seed in the first round of the postseason, but the Chicago Bulls have already taken one step towards joining the record books. After beating the Boston Celtics in Game 1, Chicago is hoping to steal a second straight game at TD Garden.
The Celtics host the Bulls Tuesday night in Game 2, looking to even up the best-of-seven series. The contest starts at 8 p.m. EDT, and TNT will have the TV broadcast. Viewers can watch Game 2 with a live stream online at tntdrama.com.
Game 1 was played under unusual circumstances, with Boston’s Isaiah Thomas taking the court just one day after his 22-year-old sister died in a one-car accident. Thomas managed to lead the team with 33 points on 18 shots, but the struggles of the Celtics’ bench allowed the Bulls to pull off a four-point upset.
The Celtics won 12 more games than the Bulls in the regular season, and they are favored to bounce back and even up the series. According to the betting odds at OddsShark, Chicago is a 7.5-point road underdog and the Game 2 over/under is 206 points.
Amir Johnson sets a pick on Rajon Rondo as Isaiah Thomas takes the ball around him during the first quarter in Game 1 of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden in Boston on April 16, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Butler led the Bulls in their Game 1 upset, scoring 30 points on 19 shots. He added nine rebounds and three assists, and his defensive prowess makes him the best player in the series. Butler was considered to be a potential MVP candidate earlier in the season.
Most important in Game 1, however, might have been the play of Bobby Portis. The power forward wasn’t in the starting lineup, but he made eight of his 10 field goal attempts for 19 points. He grabbed nine rebounds, and Chicago outscored Boston by 12 points in the 29 minutes that he was on the floor.
It’s hard to believe that Portis will have a repeat performance Tuesday night. He averaged just 6.8 points per game in the regular season, and Sunday tied his third-highest scoring total on the season.
Dwyane Wade scored just 11 points on 12 shots in Game 1, and he hasn’t looked like the same player that was a star for the Miami Heat. Posting his lowest scoring average since his rookie season, Wade has scored just 11.3 points in the four games since returning from an injury,
Chicago did manage to beat Boston twice in the regular season, but the Celtics were 2-0 against the Bulls at home, including a 20-point victory. The Celtics were the East’s best regular-season team for a reason, and they should be able to bounce back nicely against a mediocre Bulls team.
Prediction: Boston over Chicago, 110-98
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