The Runner Sports

Can The Bulls Adjust Without Rondo?

If game 3 indicated anything, it showed that Boston isn’t going down without a fight, and the Bulls need a collective effort to dethrone the #1 seed.  With Rondo suffering from his thumb injury, the Bulls had a hard time adjusting on the fly without him.  Boston was fighting for their pride and their playoff lives as a team to avoid going down 3-0, so it’s completely understandable why they played so well and focused.  Combine their determination with the Bulls’ lack of production from the point guard spot, and you get the 104-87 result favoring Boston.
The Bulls as a team struggled the majority of the night getting into any kind of rhythm.  A large part of this had to do with Rondo’s absence, and more has to do with Boston’s tough defense.  Jimmy Butler struggled to get his shot to fall and that contributed to the Bulls’ lack of flow on the offensive end.  The Celtics threw double teams at Butler and played him tough on the majority of his jumpers and driving attempts, making his life very difficult on the court.  The Bulls showed some life a couple of times by going on runs to make a game out of it, but in the end, the Bulls missed Rondo’s presence on the court.  Boston absolutely scorched Chicago from the three-point line, making 17 of them.  So what adjustments can the Bulls make to overcome Rondo’s injury and withstand Boston’s new found momentum?
The main move would be to make some much needed changes to the lineup.  Fred Hoiberg had a tendency  to mix up his rotations all season long, and that might be the proper move for the next game and possibly going forward in the series.  Game 3 proved that Michael-Carter Williams and Jerian Grant aren’t ready to fill the guard duties Rondo yearned for.  With that being the case, Hoiberg will probably continue to play them off the bench going forward, because both seem to bring more energy and play better in the bench role.  That change would make Wade and Butler the primary point guards on the team, giving the Bulls another look on offense that Boston could find difficult to guard.
With those two at guard, the Bulls can greatly improve their production off the dribble and they can create ample opportunities for their teammates to flourish.  This adjustment to the lineup will also force the younger players to elevate their game as well. With the ball being mostly in Wade and Butler’s hands, players like Paul Zipser, Bobby Portis, and Cristiano Felicio will have to balance out the workload for the key starters.  There is even a chance Denzel Valentine, Anthony Morrow, and Joffery Lauvergne could see some playing time as well to help with the scoring load.  The Bulls were outscored in the second half by the Celtics 60-46 after only trailing by 3 at halftime.  If the Bulls have any chance at an upset, they need as many players as possible to score, and they need players to show multiple efforts defensively to stop Boston’s ability to control the flow of the game.
The Bulls can definitely recover from Rondo’s unfortunate injury.  In game 4, look to see the ball in hands of the team’s two best players.  Chicago can pull off a win if the team as a whole steps up to the challenge of defending their home court.  In each of the Bulls’ wins so far this series, they had someone off the bench to erupt and give the Bulls a legitimate chance to win the game.  Without Rajon Rondo, the Bulls will need at least two guys to surprise Boston this next game and going forward.  This Bulls team and Fred Hoiberg must match the Celtics’ tenacity because if they don’t, with Rondo hurt and Boston gaining confidence, this series could become a lot more interesting than most people originally thought.

Derrick Hicks

Hello, my name is Derrick Hicks from Chicago, and I just speak/write my mind on these crazy Bulls adventures.Please Enjoy!

Latest posts by Derrick Hicks (see all)