Celtics, Bulls plug along without stars

nba_g_rose_576

 

Regardless of which teams wins the tip-off tonight at the TD Garden (7:30 p.m., CSN), their respective superstar point guards won’t be there to dribble the ball up.

Boston’s Rajon Rondo and Chicago’s Derrick Rose are both victims of ACL tears, the latter of which came towards the end of the Bulls’ 2011-12 season.

While Rose is inching closer to recovery – the hope is that he plays by the end of the regular season – we already know that Rondo won’t be back this year.

So, without their two best players, we’re talking about two teams fighting for ping pong balls in the NBA lottery, right? Wrong. The Bulls are actually living, playing proof that a team can “make due” without its star. They head into tonight’s game with a 30-21 record, good for fourth in the Eastern Conference.

How is this possible? Well, losing Rose didn’t automatically mean losing that production. It enabled players like Luol Deng (16.9 points, 6.8 rebounds) and Joakim Noah (11.8 points, 11.3 rebounds) to step up in his absence. Both, not coincidentally, were elected to this weekend’s All-Star game in Houston. Carlos Boozer (15.8 points, 9.3 rebounds) and Nate Robinson (12.1 points, 4.2 assists) are two others who have answered the call. Second-year forward Jimmy Butler has broke out as well.

We seem to be seeing a similar trend here in Boston. While the loss of Rondo has dramatically changed the way the Celtics play, it hasn’t changed it for the worst – at least not yet. Boston is 7-1 since Rondo’s last game, a loss in Atlanta. Jason Terry has never played better in a Celtics uniform. Ditto for Jeff Green. Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley form a better 1-2 front court on the defensive side of things.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are showcasing the leadership qualities that clearly never left them.

Boston has lost Jared Sullinger and now Leandro Barbosa too. The hits just keep on coming, but we’ve yet to see them waive the white flag.

They can look at a team like Chicago for inspiration in that regard, but come NBA postseason it’ll be the Bulls looking back at them with their superstar guard.

Can Boston advance without theirs?


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.