In the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last spring, the two teams met for seven games, seven overtime periods, and an eventual series win for the grizzled Celtics. But last time, there was no Kevin Garnett. The C's are fully loaded this time around, with Garnett and the rest of the gang ready to prove that they can handle this Chicago team.
Friday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
These are the same Bulls as last year — only, they're not. They still have their mature young point guard in Derrick Rose and their stingy interior defense with Joakim Noah, Brad Miller and Tyrus Thomas — but there's one glaring difference between this year's Chicago team and last year's. That would be the absence of Ben Gordon, who skipped town this summer and signed with the Detroit Pistons. Gordon played all 82 games last year and all seven in the postseason, averaging 24.3 points per playoff game. He'll certainly be missed.
Point guard: Derrick Rose
Shooting guard: John Salmons
Small forward: Luol Deng
Power forward: Tyrus Thomas
Center: Joakim Noah
Rajon Rondo is shooting 64.3 through two games this season.
Kevin Garnett has six blocks.
Paul Pierce is averaging 19 points per game.
Kendrick Perkins has averaged 6.4 points and 5.8 rebounds for his career against the Bulls.
Ray Allen has scored 19.4 points per game against them. He's shot 41.5 percent from three-point range.
The Bulls averaged 102.2 points per game last year, eighth-most in the NBA.
They were 9-9 against Atlantic Division teams.
Derrick Rose averaged 16.8 points, 6.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game last year en route to Rookie of the Year honors.
Joakim Noah averaged 7.6 rebounds per game and grabbed 10 rebounds in Chicago's opening win over the Spurs on Thursday.
Tyrus Thomas had 151 blocks, fourth in the NBA.
Luol Deng led the Bulls with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting in their 92-85 win over San Antonio in Thursday night's opener.
John Salmons had 10 points and a game-high three steals.
There is no set timetable for the return of Tony Allen, who is nursing an ankle injury.
Brian Scalabrine is day-to-day with a sprained ankle.
Derrick Rose is back in action. An ankle tendon injury forced him to miss three weeks of the preseason.
Aaron Gray sustained a fractured left fibula on Sept. 29. He will likely still be out for another two to four weeks.
It's Shelden Williams' time to shine.
Kendrick Perkins is getting the job done.
Derrick Rose was just being himself.
The Bulls look to build on last spring.
John Salmons is ready for more.
The Tim Donaghy scandal never ends.
The Cavs are 0-2, and LeBron James' future hangs in the balance.
The Nets are locking down their young talent.
When these two teams meet, it seems the only question you can ask is: How many overtimes? But that may not be the case anymore. With Kevin Garnett healthy again, the Celtics will be poised to land a statement win on their home court.
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