Horford, Thomas lead Celtics over Bulls 104-87 in Game 3

Apr 24, 2017, 05:08
Horford, Thomas lead Celtics over Bulls 104-87 in Game 3

"When you tear an ACL, your leg gets stiff every once in awhile. We know it's going to be really hard and each game is its own entity".

"To me personally, it was everything", Jae Crowder said.

And despite an ugly 17-point loss that looked familiar to the crowd of 21,293, the Bulls still can advance without Rondo. But it will require coach Fred Hoiberg to make bold adjustments before Game 4 he wouldn't ordinarily made during the regular season. After having the privilege for many years of watching Rondo pick apart opposing defenses when it seemed to matter the most, we should have foreseen Rondo flipping the script and burning the Celtics in a crucial moment.

Now, like the Celtics did on Friday, Chicago will enter Sunday's game looking to bounce back.

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It's also irreplaceable. Rondo's contributions went beyond the 11.5 points, 10 assists and 8.5 rebounds he averaged in both victories; no other Bulls player meant more in terms of running the offense and communicating defensively. But the Celtics played with an urgency and a confidence not seen in the first two games and outscored the Bulls 32-22 in the third quarter to regain control.

"We're not going to put this all on missing Rondo because he might not show up", Wade said. "I had to stretch it out", Rondo excused, per the Chicago Tribune. When he signed with Chicago in the off-season, I thought it was a bad fit and could mark the end of his once promising career.

Television replays caught Rondo's leg extending after Crowder hit a 3-pointer right in front of the Bulls' bench. "I always do that throughout the game, it just - I guess he was so deep into our bench, it looked like maybe (that) may have happened".

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