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NBA Playoffs Preview - Bulls at Celtics

April 20, 2009
NBA Playoffs Round 1 - (7) Chicago Bulls at (2) Boston Celtics (Game 2) Monday 7:00 ET

Bulls lead series 1-0.

Ray Allen of the CelticsCoach Doc Rivers saw early signs about his team in 105-103 overtime loss he didn't like, the first was lack of defensive energy and the other was his players making personal decisions about Kevin Garnett's absence.

"It just looked like everybody decided that they were going to be 'the guy' tonight.

They were going to, you know, replace Kevin for whatever reason," Rivers said. "And then all of a sudden we got into a fight. And one thing I'd say about our guys, they join in. But, at home, you're supposed to start it."

The Celtics work better on offense when they move the ball and don't dribble just for the sake of it.

Chicago is no defensive juggernaut, especially on the road, where they allow 104.7 points per game on 46 percent shooting and Boston shot 39.4 percent in 53 minutes of basketball at home and will have to quickly refocus. The Celts are 17-7 ATS after a loss by six or less points.

If there is any question who the next great point guard in the NBA will be, the speculation has ended. Derrick Rose's 36 points tied a NBA playoff record for points scored, previously held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and he also dished out 11 assists.

That was the most points scored by a Chicago Bulls player in the postseason since Jordan was in the Windy City.

The win raised the Bulls record to 13-3 ATS playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season.

Oddsmakers refused to act positively or negatively against the spread and has Chicago receiving 8 points for Game 2.

The total is down considerably from the last contest to 196 from 199. Boston is 31-13 ATS revenging a home loss and 11-3 OVER in home games where the total is between 190 and 199.5 points this season.

Chicago has not flourished in this spot with 7-21 ATS record off an upset win and are 14-6 OVER as an underdog.

Pick: Under 197 (-110)

Visit the NBA basketball betting forum for more picks, trends and information for all of the 2009 playoffs.

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