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Posey Returns to the Scene of the Crimes as Celtics Visit Chicago

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 Boston Celtics (16-2) at Chicago Bulls (6-11)

Saturday, December 8
Regular season game #19, Away game #9
TV:   NBA LP ch 755, WGN,  CSN
United Center
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Bulls Coverage:     Bull Riding    l    Blog a Bull

The Celtics travel to Chicago to take on the 6-11 Bulls but shouldn't look at their record and take them for granted.  The Celtics lead the Bulls 101-83 in the all time series between these two teams but the Bulls have won the last 8 games between them.   The Bulls have started out slowly but they are a dangerous team.  They beat the Pistons in Detroit and are capable of beating any team, including the Celtics, on any given night.   The Celtics will need to bring their A-game to win this one.
The Bulls are a very good rebounding team.  Over their last 5 games they have out rebounded their opponents 247-178 overall and 85-45 on the offensive end.  The Celtics are going to have to work hard to grab rebounds or the Bulls will kill us on second chance points.  Much of rebounding is effort and the Celtics will need to put out the effort to keep the Bulls from beating them on the boards.
Both teams are playing in the second of back to back games and both had to travel to get to the game. The Celtics had an easy game against the Raptors and the starters all played 28 minutes or less in the game.  The Bulls won a tight game against Detroit with their starters having to play big minutes.  Heinrich played 42 minutes, Deng played 38 minutes and Wallace played 36 miinutes.   The Celtics could run them and make fatigue a factor in this game.
A sub-plot to this game is James Posey's relationship with Chicago.  Since 2006, he has been involved in 4 different incidents involving hard fouls on Bulls' players.  You can see a summary of these incidents as well as video clips here .      
More After the Jump  
Starting Matchups
PG:  Rajon Rondo vs Kirk Hinrich
SG:  Ray Allen vs Ben Gordon
SF:  Paul Pierce vs Luol Deng
PF:  Kevin Garnett vs Joe Smith
C:   Kendrick Perkins vs Ben Wallace

Key Matchups
Paul Pierce PPG 20.9 | RPG 5.4 | APG 5.2
Luol Deng   PPG 17.7 | RPG 6.6 | APG 1.5

Kendrick Perkins   PPG 7.6 | RPG 5.1 | BPG 1.4
Ben Wallace    PPG 4.6 | RPG 8.5 | BPG 1.4     

Keys to the Game
1.  Rebound.  The Bulls are 6th in the NBA in rebounds and 1st in offensive rebounds.  The Celtics need to concentrate on boxing out and beating the Bulls to the boards. 

2.  Energy for 48 Minutes.   In several games the Celtics have either started out strong and then fizzled, losing big leads or they have come out sluggish and just barely pulled out the win. In the second of back to back games, fatigue can be a factor, but both teams played the night before and the Celtics have the advantage of playing fewer minutes.   The Celtics need to play hard for 48 minutes and build a lead and keep it.

3.  Defense.  The Bulls can hurt you both inside and out.  Perk will need to keep Wallace out of the paint and off the boards.  The Celtics will also need to defend on the perimeter as the Bulls have several weapons from the outside as well.
4.  Take Care of the Ball.     The Celtics had 20 turnovers last night against the Raptors.  Turnovers have been a problem all season so far and they need to work on limiting them because against the elite teams, those turnovers will come back to haunt them.  If the Celtics turn the ball over, the Bulls are capable of capitalizing on those turnovers and making the Celtics pay for them.  

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