Since the season began, we’ve been waiting to see something out of these Celtics.
On Saturday, it looked like we finally did. The C’s came back to beat the Bucks in a fourth quarter that saw them drop 32 points in a 96-92 win.
Not only that, but Jeff Green looked to have a pulse in the win, scoring eight of his 12 points and going to the hoop with the aggression that C’s fans have been longing to see.
Here’s the question: Can any of it carry over to Monday night against the Bulls?
It’ll certainly be easier to do so without the likes of Derrick Rose, who will miss most of the year with a torn ACL suffered late last season, on the floor but other players on Chicago are stepping up in his absence.
One player who looks to get in the way of the Celtics in every way is Bulls center Joakim Noah. The C’s have a problem (aside from defending the pick and roll) and it’s the fact that without Kevin Garnett on the floor, the team is lost.
Rajon Rondo called it “chaos” without Garnett on the floor after last Friday’s loss to Philadelphia, and he could be saying it again after Monday's game.
Noah and Garnett have had great battles in the past, but there really doesn’t seem to be anybody else capable of covering Noah if Garnett goes out. Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass just aren’t large enough.
Noah’s been a much bigger part of the Bulls offense without Rose, raising his scoring average five points from last season to 15.0 points per game in almost 39 minutes of playing time. He’s also averaging 2.5 blocks per game and over nine rebounds.
But while the Bulls should have an advantage down low, the C’s should have an advantage at the guard and wing spots. With Rose down and backup Kirk Hinrich also banged up, Rondo shouldn’t have a problem against his former teammate Nate Robinson.
The same goes for shooting guards Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Terry has found a rhythm as of late, but Lee still looks a bit uncomfortable in his new role.
But regardless of how, a win in Chicago would give the C’s a winning streak that can’t come soon enough.