After surprising the Chicago Bulls with a balanced attack in game 3, the Boston Celtics now aim to level the series at 2-2 by using the same effective approach. C’s head coach Brad Stevens is expected to field the ‘small-ball’ starting a lineup that won themselves a game in the series, with Gerald Green at the small forward and Jae Crowder at the power forward.

Boston will once again attempt to outrun and outgun the Bulls, who terribly missed Rajon Rondo’s playmaking skills on Friday. Celtics All-Stars Isaiah Thomas (16 points and nine assists) and Al Horford (16 points, eight rebounds and six assists) must also come up with similar well-rounded performances by looking for high percentage shots and keeping his teammates involved throughout the match.

On the other hand, the battle-tested Bulls have remained unfazed despite the Celtics’ resurgence. No one knows the pressure of winning pivotal games well than former Finals MVP Dwyane Wade, who believes his team has a good chance of wrapping up the series with home-court advantage in two of their next three games.

"We're in a good position," Wade told the press during the pre-game interviews. "One thing Rondo had done before he went out helps us win two games on the road. Now we have two of the next three (games) on our home court, and we have to come in and care of business at home."

'Playoff Rondo' seals the deal

Rondo, who put up 11.5 ppg, 10.0 APG, 8.5 RPG, and 3.5 SPG in the Bulls’ two victories in Boston before missing Game 3 with a fractured thumb, will be re-evaluated in 7 to 10 days.

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It means there’s no assurance if he’ll return in the next series, should the Bulls somehow overcome the Celtics’ uprising. However, one thing is for sure about Rondo’s strong postseason output, and that’s it might have already earned him $14MM for next season.

“There’s some positive feeling on that from Rondo. And now that the Bulls now have a better grasp on how to handle his quirks, they might be more inclined to keep Rondo on board—especially if they decide against trading star Jimmy Butler and eschew the notion of a full rebuild altogether,” according to NBA scribe Sean Deveney,

Garnett to Celtics – Be Dogs

Kevin Garnett, who won an NBA title with Rondo and the Celtics in 2008, told the entire Celtics roster to play like dogs in his pep-talk video. Known for unmatched intensity, Garnett made it known that he’s rooting for Boston in this postseason. Stevens appreciates all the words of encouragement they get from sporting superstars like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Garnett, whom the coach credited for his impact in the organization during and after his playing career.