Chicago in danger of fading from race
After a rough trip out West, the Celtics are elated to be back at TD Garden. But can Brad Stevens’ troops repel a Chicago club that’s desperate to maintain relevance as the playoff chase heats up?
The two teams open the NBA’s Sunday schedule at 3:30 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Boston odds of -330 to emerge victorious. Conversely, the Bulls represent +265 underdogs.
Despite losses to low-level opponents like Phoenix and Denver over the past week, the Celts (41-25) remain tied with Washington for second place in the Eastern Conference. As per usual, Isaiah Thomas continues to handle most of the heavy lifting on the offensive end. The league’s second-leading scorer has surpassed the 30-point mark in three of his last six outings.
Dwayne Wade similarly specializes in getting buckets with regularity. Unfortunately, his return two nights ago failed to produce a much-needed win for the Bulls (31-34). They dropped a 115-94 decision against Houston, falling to 1-5 since Feb. 28. If the postseason started right now, Fred Hoiberg’s crew would actually be on the outside looking in.
The home squad has captured all three meetings between the Bulls and Celtics in 2016-17. We don’t see that changing here, especially as Hoiberg attempts to rejigger his rotation on the fly. Expect Thomas, Al Horford and the rest of the gang to run wild.
SUNDAY NBA FREE PICK: CELTICS -7.5