The Celtics and Bulls are on opposite ends of the win-loss column as they enter this matchup. Boston gave the Cavaliers a 142-point beat down on Sunday night, while Chicago fell victim to the mighty Lakers on Saturday night. Boston has now won four games in a row.
The Celtics will have Jayson Tatum on the floor for the first time in a few weeks, a welcome addition to a team already playing great basketball. We haven’t seen him on the court with Kemba Walker since Game 6 against Miami in the conference finals a season ago.
Having all of their main vets on the court at the same time will be a welcome sign. Especially with Payton Pritchard out for two weeks.
The Bulls have to forget about the Laker game and remember some of the good things they have done as of late. The addition of Garrett Temple wasn’t praised much in the offseason, despite him having a strong few years for the Brooklyn Nets.
Temple is a good defender that can knock the three-ball down at a high clip. They owe part of their 7-9 record not being worse to him.
The spread for Monday’s showdown is set at Boston -8.
Celtics Aiming for Fifth Win in a Row
It has been an odd season for many NBA teams, the Celtics included. Kemba Walker wasn’t available to open the year. Tatum tested positive for COVID-19 and was out for nearly three weeks. And for the first time since perhaps the Perkins-Garnett pairing, Boston has been pairing two bigs together in Daniel Theis-Tristan Thompson to start games.
But here they are, sitting at a solid 9-6 record, blowing out a Cavs team that had defeated Brooklyn twice, also beating Philly earlier in the year. They are a hard-nosed bunch, continuing to get it done, no matter who is on the floor and who is unavailable. It was great to see Carsen Edwards score at will for stretches against those Cavs, as his NBA career hasn’t taken off yet.
They are favored because of the strong play of Marcus Smart and easy scoring from Jaylen Brown.
Chicago Aims to Bounce Back
Coming off their loss to the Lakers, the Bulls are hoping for a quick victory to forget about it. They do come in as significant underdogs for the second consecutive game, unfortunately. It’s not much of a surprise that oddsmakers are heavily leaning toward Boston to get their win here.
Chicago has a lot of talent in their starting lineup, though it will likely exclude Wendell Carter Jr., who’s out with a quad injury. The team’s Wednesday game with Memphis has already been postponed, likely leaving out of the lineup until the weekend portion of the schedule.
The Bulls will need a big performance from their two backcourt guards Zach LaVine and Coby White, plus 25+ from Lauri Markkanen to truly stand a chance.
Celtics Keep it Rolling
Five, count them, five wins in a row for the Celtics now. The Bulls pose no threat to them.