Celtics Notes: Boston Makes History With Comeback Series Win Over Bulls

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It was hard to imagine the Boston Celtics advancing in the NBA playoffs after how they started their first-round series against the Chicago Bulls.

The top-seeded Celtics immensely struggled in the first two games of the best-of-seven series, as Chicago took an early 2-0 series lead following two convincing wins at TD Garden.

Boston would regain form, though, and rattled off four consecutive victories to win the series, capped off by a 105-83 blowout victory in Game 6 at United Center.

It was not the most preferred route to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the Celtics, but they made history in the process.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens pushed all the right buttons to get his team back in the series. After Amir Johnson continued to struggle, Stevens replaced him in the starting lineup with Gerald Green, who relished the opportunity and was a huge factor in Boston’s series win. The veteran forward averaged 13.5 points in the four games he started, and he provided the team with a major boost of energy.

The C’s also fixed the immediate problems that were made evident at the start of the series. Chicago torched Boston on the glass in the first two contests, but the Celtics improved their rebounding considerably in the ensuing games. This thwarted the Bulls’ transition offense and allowed the C’s to establish their desired pace.

Boston now will face the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference semifinals. There’s no love lost between these two teams, as evidenced by their multiple scrums in the regular season. In a matchup of two squads with high-powered backcourts, basketball fans should be in store for an exciting second-round series.

Here are some other notes from Celtics-Bulls.

–Avery Bradley was tremendous for the Celtics on Friday night. He led the team with 23 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists. Bradley also excelled from beyond the arc, sinking three of four 3-point attempts. After starting off the series relatively slow, Bradley appears to be rolling at the right time.

–In a do-or-die Game 6, the Bulls looked alarmingly flat and disorganized. Chicago had as many assists as turnovers with 13. Jimmy Butler posted 23 points while playing through a knee injury, but it wasn’t even close to enough to keep his team in the game.

–Rajon Rondo’s injury dramatically changed the series. The veteran point guard was in complete control of the first two games, which helped the Bulls grab an early 2-0 series lead. After Rondo was sidelined with a broken thumb, Chicago’s offense became stagnant and lacked rhythm. The Bulls attempted to subdue the blow with Jerian Grant and Isaiah Canaan, but neither player had much of an effect on the series.

–Isaiah Thomas had a quiet Game 6 with only 12 points, but that should be taken as a positive for Boston. One of the biggest knocks on the Celtics is their inability to score outside of Thomas. The star guard was slowed down Friday night, but his teammates picked up the slack and then some to the tune of a 22-point win.

Thumbnail photo via David Banks/USA TODAY Sports Images

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