Home » Blog » Chicago Visits Boston in East Grudge Match

Chicago Visits Boston in East Grudge Match

The Celtics and Bulls will do battle for a third time this season on Friday night, as Chicago makes the journey east to Boston.

The Chicago Bulls travel to Bean Town to take on the Celtics on Friday night, with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 PM ET from TD Garden in downtown Boston.

Boston (20-18, 13-7 home) will look to rebound from Wednesday’s surprise 90-78 loss to New Orleans, a result that snapped the Celtics’ six-game winning streak.

In order to return to winning ways, Doc Rivers’ side will need to derail a Chicago (22-15, 11-5 road) side that is proving to be a true road warrior.

The Bulls have won four straight and five of the last six away from the United Center, on their way to the third best road record in the league. Only Oklahoma City (12-5) and the Los Angeles Clippers (13-5) have fared better away from home.

The Bulls’ road accolades don’t end there either. Tom Thibodeau’s side is 10-1 on the road against Eastern Conference opposition, that one loss coming on Dec. 22 in Atlanta. That streak includes a 4-0 record against Atlantic Division opponents.

Chicago is 8-1 against the Atlantic Division all told. That one loss came at the hands of the Celtics on Nov. 12, the first of two games the sides played at the United Center. The second (Dec. 18) finished in favor of the Bulls, leaving the sides knotted-up at one-apiece heading into tonight’s encounter.

Prior to Wednesday’s loss to New Orleans, Boston had won six straight, including four at home. That run has seen the Celtics emerge into the playoff picture, where the side currently resides in the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference, just 3.5 games behind Chicago in the No. 4 spot, and six back of Miami in first place.

Both sides have built their success this season on a slow-paced offense bolstered by a tough-as-nails defense.

Boston averages 95.1 points per game (19th in the league) on 46.4 percent shooting (6th). The team averages 23.3 assists per game (4th), thanks in a big way to Rajon Rondo, who leads the league with 11.2 assists per game.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Celtics are giving up 95.7 points per game (7th) on 44.6 percent shooting (15th). The side has snatched 331 steals, good enough for eighth in the league.

Chicago has averaged 93.9 points per game (25th), but what the offense has lacked, the defense has more than made up for. The Bulls give up just 91.7 points per game. Only Indiana (89.1 PPG) and Memphis (90.4 PPG) have possessed stingier defenses this season.

Each side has bettered its scoring average when playing the other this season, just. In two games, Boston has averaged 95.0 points per game, while Chicago has scored 97.5 points per outing. Chicago has actually bettered the Celtics in all major offensive categories during those games.

Friday’s clash could well be a precursor to a playoff series between the two. The sides looked set to meet in the second round of last season’s playoffs, but Derrick Rose’s injury and Philadelphia’s subsequent upset of the Bulls put the halters on that matchup. The two sides last met in the postseason in 2009, a series Boston won in seven games.

Boston is 64-33 all-time against Chicago when playing at home.

Both sides are close to the bottom of the league when it comes to covering the spread. Chicago has posted a 14-22-1 ATS mark, while Boston has gone 15-20-3 ATS. The Celtics are the only team to have scored three pushes.

When it comes to the total, both sides have favored the under this season. Boston has gone 17-20-0 while Chicago has gone 14-22-1. Only Memphis has seen the total go under more times than the Bulls.

Odds of the Bulls winning the NBA title currently stand at 18/1, seventh best in the league. Boston has been assigned odds of 20/1 (9th) to do the same.

Chicago will travel to Boston again on Feb. 13 for the final meeting of four between the sides.

  • 100%