The Chicago Bulls (10-2) managed to dispatch the lowly Washington Wizards without star point guard Derrick Rose, but may need him to upend the experienced Boston Celtics (4-5) on the road on Friday night. The Celtics have been disappointing so far this year, and recently GM Danny Ainge admitted that if the team continues to struggle he needs to "make an effort to go another direction." The Bulls are still humming along and just wrapped up a sweep of a back-to-back-to-back stretch, but the Derrick Rose situation is still a bit murky. The team insists Rose does not have turf toe, but it the proof will be evident when Rose returns to the court, which he has yet to do. He participated in some of the team shoot-around on Thursday but is still wearing a walking boot and will be a game-time decision.
Rajon Rondo has emerged as the undisputed leader of the rudderless Celtics at the moment, but that is not necessarily a good thing for a team hoping to make one last run at an NBA Championship. SB Nation's CelticsBlog explains the problem:
"Rajon's amazing, period. You talk about big things are coming, big things are here. Rajon's keeping us alive every night, we just have to make sure we follow his lead, follow his effort, and we're going to turn this thing around. We're a group of hard-working guys; you do the hard work and then you start to see lights. That's what it is."
KG's right about one thing. Rondo is playing out of his mind. But to say "big things are coming" seems like an odd thing to say after a loss in which the non-Rondo portion of the tempo was nothing more than viscous. Rondo can play as fantastically as he wants, but that only goes so far without support. Yes, I realize this is very depressing.
Here is some basic information to help you find the game on Friday night:
Game day/time: Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, 7:00 p.m. CT
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
TV: ESPN, CSN-Chicago
Radio: AM 1000
For updates on the matchup, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Blog a Bull and CelticsBlog. For more news and notes from around the NBA, head over to SB Nation's NBA news hub.