The Boston Celtics were 30-11 at home this 2016-2017 NBA season. It was really hard to beat them in their building. So it’s natural that every old and young Celtics fan felt supremely confident going into the playoff opener against the Chicago Bulls. After all, their team had beaten the 41-41 team twice at home during the regular season. Everything said that it should’ve been their night in Game 1.
Then the action started. Chicago came out aggressive, playing some of the best defense it had all year. By the time the Celtic were able to shake off the surprise they were way behind. They managed to cut the lead down late in the fourth quarter but some timely baskets by Jimmy Butler and Bobby Portis helped seal the victory.
Nothing summed up how stunned and frustrated Boston fans were than after Butler hit the final free throw to put the score at 106-102 than this kid at court-side. Anybody with a common understanding of the English language can clearly see what he’s saying.
Maybe a little crude for somebody his age but not untrue. This loss could be significant in a major way. The Bulls now hold home court advantage in the series. Even if they lose in Game 2, they would go home to the United Center. A place where the Celtics haven’t won since November of 2014. Chicago won both meetings there this season.
The Bulls always seem to give Boston headaches in the playoffs. Their iconic 2009 playoff war remains the stuff of legends. However, the Celtics do have history on their side. In four previous postseason meetings, they are a perfect 4-0. Odds are that streak will grow over the next week or so.
Still, this game proves it would be most unwise to overlook the Bulls. If nothing else, they are a battle-tested group.