The Celtics begin a home-and-home series with the Bulls beginning tonight, another game against a team jockeying for playoff position. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he contemplated a lineup change since the starting lineup has struggled of late but decided against it. Boston has lost eight of nine games, including a painful 105-103 defeat Friday at Toronto.
The Bulls are trying to claim the third seed in the Eastern Conference and even without Derrick Rose, they are a team nobody wants to face in the playoffs because of their physical style. Chicago is one game behind the Raptors with 10 games to play.
BOSTON CELTICS (23-49)
PG Rajon Rondo
SG Avery Bradley
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Kris Humphries
Inactives: Keith Bogans, Vitor Faverani, Gerald Wallace
CHICAGO BULLS (40-32)
PG Kirk Hinrich
SG Jimmy Butler
SF Mike Dunleavy
PF Carlos Boozer
C Joakim Noah
Inactives: Derrick Rose
Officials: Sean Corbin, Eric Dalen, Rodney Mott
TV, radio: 7 p.m., CSNNE, WBZ-FM (98.5)
• Rajon Rondo will not play Monday at Chicago because it will be the second of a back-to-back set but he will be in the broadcast booth with Mike Gorman during the first quarter/
• Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Joakim Noah could be an MVP candidate given what he has contributed to the club this season. Noah is averaging 12.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and a team-leading 5.1 assists.
• While Rondo was taking passes from assistant coach Ron Adams on the court, Noah ran over and hugged Adams and kissed him on top of the head. “That’s my guy, man,” he told Rondo.
• The Celtics will travel to Chicago late tonight and take on the Bulls on Monday at United Center. The Celtics will travel to Washington to face the Wizards on Wednesday.