NBA Betting – Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics
Zack GarrisonNo comments
It’s been the same tired story for the Chicago Bulls in the first month of 2014-15 NBA season: most nights, the team has to find a way to soldier on without star point guard Derrick Rose. The former NBA MVP continues to struggle with injuries, though it seems to be something new every week for the frangible fifth-year vet. Rose hurt his ankle at beginning of the season and, nowadays, is dealing with a hamstring injury. He played only 10 minutes the Bulls’ last game (a 114-109 loss to the Denver Nuggets) and missed four out of five before that. His status remains uncertain for tomorrow’s game.
“It’s frustrating,” Rose said. “But you can’t let it get me down. I know that at the end (the setbacks) are just going to be minor but it’s a long season and we just got to keep going and I know the team, they’re not worried about me. I should be good.”
The injuries to Rose are not the only ones hampering the Bulls these days; center Joakim Noah (7.9 PPG, 9.2 RPG) is suffering from excess fluid accumulation around one of his knee joints. Last year’s NBA Defensive Player of the year is also questionable for tomorrow.
If neither Noah nor Rose suits up, Kirk Hinrich, Pau Gasol, and Jimmy Butler are going to have to be on their games at both ends of the floor.
Gasol has been excellent for the Bulls this seas, averaging nearly 20 points and over ten rebounds per game, more than making up for the loss of Carlos Boozer in the off-season. Butler, meanwhile, is having a breakout year; he leads the team in scoring (21.6 PPG) and is averaging eight points more per night than last year.
The solid play from Butler and Gasol has kept the Bulls more than afloat as Rose moves in and out of the lineup. The team is currently first in the (admittedly weak) Central Division.
On the other side of the floor, the Boston Celtics have won only one of their last six games. Tomorrow, though, they will have rookie guard Marcus Smart (the sixth overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft) back in the lineup. Smart averaged just under seven points per game before getting injured against the Pacers on November 7. While Smart’s return may not do wonders for the Celtics offense, it should boost their dreadful defense.
Boston has the third-worst defense in the league, allowing 107.2 PPG. points per game. In his first career NBA game, Smart proved capable of defending the likes of Deron Williams and could be tabbed with guarding Rose, if “Pooh” is in the lineup.
Though the Celts are four games under .500, they have no problem putting the ball in the hoop. They sit fifth in the league in scoring, averaging 104.7 per game. They also distribute the ball well, averaging a league-high 25.8 assists per game. Obviously, the ball movement begins with point guard Rajon Rondo, who leads all players with 10.7 APG.
Despite the fact that Chicago has won seven of the last ten meetings against Boston, look for Boston to triumph at home if Rose and Noah are both on the shelf.