Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas before the first quarter of Wednesday's NBA Playoffs game.
Chicago opened the game strong and kept it tight through the first three quarters. They were bullied, bodied and put out of their comfort zone.
The Bulls were still without veteran guard and former Celtic Rajon Rondo, who had not recovered from a thumb injury.
Al Horford is attacking mismatches more aggressively.
As good as Bradley was offensively, he may have been better neutralizing Butler, who scored just two of his 14 points with Bradley as the primary defender.
The Bulls, on the other hand, are back to playing their normal style of basketball where they rely on Jimmy Butler for offense and throw other random pieces in the lineup to try to make it work.
But Thomas feels he has a responsibility to his team, as well, so he'll continue doing everything he can to be present on both fronts. He shot poorly (6-of-17) and only had four assists, but he also had several hockey assists and was hurting the Bulls for over-helping.
Avery Bradley had a monster Game 5 and is finally in his groove. He's actually being a secondary perimeter weapon, which is what the Celtics need. The job that Bradley did in Game 5 speaks to why Stevens has reiterated time and time again just how valuable he has been to the Celtics' success in recent years. Those Bulls that were up 2-0 earlier in the series are no more. Thomas scored 24 points during the Celtics' win.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Kelly Olynyk. The Bulls seem unprepared to deal with a different Celtics team.
"This whole group remains confident in everybody, from the first guy to the last guy", said Thomas, who shot just one-for-10 from beyond the arc but was ideal at the free-throw line, going 11-for-11. They just kind of hung around, like a popcorn kernel stuck on the roof of your mouth. Boston's defense has made SF Jimmy Butler and PG Dwyane Wade earn everything they get. So things are well.
Robin Lopez was also issued a technical foul in the fourth quarter after complaining nonstop about a non-call.
The Bulls were outscored 29-16 in the fourth. Even worse, he only attempted two shots. "And it's probably going to be that way for the rest of the series".
The Chicago Bulls fell to the Boston Celtics Wednesday night 108-97 in Game 5.
This is who they have been, this is who they are.
The Bulls guard, after a late-night Tuesday workout first reported by ESPN's Marc Stein, decided his broken right thumb was still too swollen and painful to play in Game 5.