Celtics-Bulls review: C's limit Bulls in transition

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Celtics-Bulls review: C's limit Bulls in transition

CHICAGO The Chicago Bulls are not the greatest running team in the NBA. And the Boston Celtics for their part, kept it that way in the C's 101-95 win on Monday.

For the second time in as many games, Boston's ability to limit their opponents' transition game was a huge factor in the C's success.

"Our big thing tonight was transition defense," said C's guard Jason Terry. "We did a good job in that area, and offensively the ball really moved."

Boston limited the Bulls to just 10 fast-break points.

A major factor in limiting transition baskets is keeping turnovers relatively low.

Boston did just that on Monday in committing just eight turnovers which is less than half of the 16.7 turnovers Chicago usually forces teams into committing per game.

Finding success in those two areas more often than not, renders results like Monday's victory.

Here are a few other keys identified prior to the game and how they actually played out in Boston's win over the Bulls which snapped the C's five-game road losing streak in Chicago.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Rajon Rondo has been shredding defenses apart all season with an array of pin-point passes resulting in double-digit assists every game. He's the primary reason why the Celtics rank among the top-five this season in assists per game. But the Bulls have made it tough on opponents when it comes to getting assists. In fact, they are only giving up 19.8 per game which ranks sixth in the NBA.

WHAT WE SAW: Forgot about double-doubles. Rondo was on track for a triple-double with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in the first half. He would come just a rebound short in tallying 20 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Kevin Garnett vs. Joakim Noah. There's no love lost between these two, which only adds more intrigue and suspense to this matchup between two of the better teams in the East.

WHAT WE SAW: Garnett didn't have one of his best games (15 points, 5 rebounds), but he came up with a pair of lob dunks in the fourth quarter that were huge plays at the time in the Celtics victory. Noah continues to evolve into one of the better power forwards in the NBA, tallying 17 points and 11 rebounds to go with three assists. "They're both unique, high energy guys," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau who is a former Celtics assistant coach. "Both are excellent defenders. (Noah's) shooting is improving. Garnett has done it a lot longer. (Noah's) still learning and growing."

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jeff Green had a major breakout game at Milwaukee on Saturday with 12 points and strong play defensively. It'll be interesting to see if he can build off of that performance or whether he'll return to Struggelesville which he has called home for most of this year.

WHAT WE SAW: Green came out looking aggressive as ever for the Celtics, tallying four points on 2-for-3 shooting in just seven minutes. However, his success didn't go any further than that after suffering a mild right ankle sprain in the second quarter that would not allow him to return in the first half. He played in the second half for Boston, but didn't appear to have the same kind of impact or aggression afterward.

STAT TO TRACK: Boston has had its share of problems limiting opponents scoring in the paint. They currently rank 27th in the league with foes churning out 45.7 points in the paint per game. The Bulls may be just what the Celtics need right now. Chicago comes into tonight's game among the NBA's worst at scoring around the basket. The C's would do themselves a world of good in keeping the Bulls around their 38 points-in-the-paint per game average which ranks No. 23 in the NBA.

WHAT WE SAW: With Chicago ranking among the NBA's worst at scoring in the paint, the Celtics kept them at their season average - 38 points scored in the paint. Boston wasn't much better with 40 points in the paint. But considering how teams have feasted on the C's interior defense, Boston had reason to feel good about their defense against the Bulls - especially on the interior.

Twitter reacts to Isaiah Thomas' cryptic eyeball emoji tweet

Twitter reacts to Isaiah Thomas' cryptic eyeball emoji tweet

Isaiah Thomas didn't have to tweet any words to set Twitter ablaze in Boston. The Boston Celtics guard tweeted a eye emoji on Monday night.

And that was enough to spark trade speculation and jokes -- lots of jokes.

With New England on edge following the DeMarcus Cousins trade, Boston fans and many members of the media responded on twitter.

They reacted to Thomas' tweet featuring eyeball emoji with thoughts a trade for Jimmy Butler may be in store.

Be sure to check out all the hilarious tweets below.

There was the rational approach.


The playful response.


The not-so rational response.


And perhaps the most important tweet from Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren

What Celtics have to offer in potential trade

What Celtics have to offer in potential trade

BOSTON – Between now and Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, the Boston Celtics are going to have conversations involving most if not all their assets. 

Here’s a look at what the Celtics have to offer as part of a potential trade, broken down between draft picks and the rights to players.

DRAFT PICKS

2017

-Own first round pick (have the right to swap for Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick)

-Own second round pick (top-45 protected; will be conveyed to Brooklyn if Celtics swap first-round picks with the Nets this year).

-Minnesota Timberwolves’ second round pick

-Cleveland Cavaliers’ second round pick

-Los Angeles Clippers’ second round pick

2018

-Own first round pick

-Brooklyn’s first round pick

-Own second round pick (top-55 protected; if it falls outside of that range, will be conveyed to Oklahoma City).

2019

-Own first-round pick

-Memphis Grizzlies' first round pick*

-Los Angeles Clippers' first round pick (top-14 protected; pick can only be conveyed to Boston two years after the Clippers convey a first-round pick to Toronto which is likely to happen this year).

-Own second round pick (top-55 protected; if it falls outside of the top-55, pick will be conveyed to Memphis).

-Detroit Pistons' second round pick

2020

-Own first round pick

-Memphis' first round pick*

-Clippers' first round pick (top-14 protected; conveyed this year if it wasn’t sent Boston’s way in 2019).

-Own second round pick

-Miami's second round pick

2021

-Own first round pick

-Memphis' first round pick*

-Own second round pick

2022

-Own first round pick

-Memphis' first round pick*

-Own second round pick

-Clippers' second round pick (If first round pick not conveyed to Boston by 2020, Clippers will send the Celtics their 2022 second round pick).

*This pick from Memphis will be conveyed to Boston two years after the Grizzlies send a first-round pick to Denver. The pick is top-6-protected in 2017 and 2018, and is unprotected in 2019. The pick Boston will receive from Memphis is top-9 protected in 2019, top-7 protected in 2020 and unprotected in 2021.

RIGHTS TO PLAYERS

Guershon Yabusele

Size, position: 6-foot-8 power forward

How acquired by Boston: Drafted by the Celtics in the first round of the 2016 NBA draft, 16th overall.

Statistics this season: Yabusele is playing with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. He is averaging 21.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

Ante Zizic

Size, position: 6-foot-11 power forward/center

How acquired by Boston: Drafted by the Celtics in the first round of the 2016 NBA draft, No. 23 overall.

Statistics this season: Playing for Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul led by ex-NBA coach David Blatt, Zizic has averaged 10.3 points and 67.3 percent shooting from the field. 

Abdel Nader

Size, position: 6-foot-8 shooting guard/small forward

How acquired by Boston: Drafted by the Celtics in the second round of the 2016 NBA draft, 58th overall.

Statistics this season: Playing for Boston’s Gatorade-League affiliate the Maine Red Claws, Nader was named to the G-League’s all-star team in large part because of his 22 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game average this season.

Marcus Thornton

Size, position: 6-foot-4 shooting guard

Status: Drafted by the Celtics in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft, 45th overall.

This season: Playing for Consultinvest VL Pesaro in Italy-Serie A, Thornton is averaging 11.9 points, 1.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds.