The Chicago Bulls are not just beating teams, they're blowing them out. As Rose and the Bulls steamroll opponents, the Celtics are gutting out come from behind games, as they scramble and fail to put together 48 solid minutes.
By now you've heard the story. The C's have 5 new players via trade deadline deals, and zero practice time to teach them the system. They're trying to reintegrate Delonte West and soon (Wednesday night?) Shaq. They're trying to limit the minutes of the starters. And last, but not least, they're trying to secure the #1 seed in the East. With the first seed, the Celtics will not only secure home court advantage in all three Eastern Conference series, but just as important, they will avoid (probably), playing the Miami Heat in the second round, before (most likely) facing the Bulls in the Conference Finals. And if the Celtics do manage to overcome these hurdles, the Lakers (probably) will be waiting for them in the Finals.
Tuesday night, the Bulls blew out the Hawks in Atlanta 114-81 to go 1/2 game up on the Celtics (1 in the win column). At the half, the Lakers are beating the Suns 66-60. If the Lakers go on to win, they will be 51-21 and even with the Celtics who are 50-20. This is a bit disheartening nice the Celtics maintained a 4 or 5 game lead on LA for much of the season.
It's aways difficult to win the NBA Championship. It's more difficult if you don't have home court advantage. So the C's have to continue to win and get the #1 seed, or try to repeat last year's near miracle. For the eternal optimists that say " don't worry, we made it to the Finals last year without home court advantage," let me remind you of three facts. First, last year the Celtics played their heart out to make it out of the East without home court in two series. That was an aberration. It almost never happens. 2 The Celtics made it to the Finals, but ran out of gas at the end. That seventh and last game BTW was played in LA because the Celtics did not have home court over the Lakers. 3. Getting though the east without the #1 seed will be tougher this year, because it will (probably) involve going through both Miami and the Bulls. If the Celtics get the #1 seed in the East, I like their chances of battling the Bulls to 7 games and winning game 7 in Boston. If game 7 is in Chicago, the Bulls will be favored. The same can be said of a seven game series against LA.
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