Unlike most of the NBA, Bulls won’t look ahead to Cavs before Game 5
CHICAGO – The talk of the NBA is centered around what happened early Sunday afternoon in Boston.
It mostly involved the Cleveland Cavaliers and, in a way, the Bulls as well.
The Cavs’ Kevin Love left his team’s fourth and what would be final game of their first round series with the Celtics with a shoulder separation. He’ll most likely miss a majority of his team’s second round games.
J.R. Smith might also be on the bench early in the second round after being ejected from Sunday’s game after a hard foul.
Why this involves the Bulls-and certainly peaks the interest of fans-is that they are most likely the opponent for Cleveland in the second round of the playoffs. At the moment they lead their own first round series 3-1 and came two points along with a few less turnovers from making it a sweep on Saturday.
The Bulls probably will open the second round with the Cavaliers on either Saturday or Monday since no team in NBA history has rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. Still Tom Thibodeau prefers a cautious approach as the first round series returns to the United Center for Game 5 on Monday night.
"I'm just worried about Milwaukee, I'll leave that to you guys," said the Bulls' coach when asked about the developments with the Cavaliers on Sunday. "It's the playoffs but I think it's important to stay disciplined and concentrate on what we have to do.
"Let's face it, it's easy to get distracted if you let yourself get thrown off course so I haven't thought about it to be honest with you."
Forward Joakim Noah sent his best wished to Love as he recovers from his shoulder injury but echoed Thibodeau in hesitating to look past the task ahead.
"We're not there yet," said Noah. "We're staying focused on this series right now. We know how talented Milwaukee is and we can't overlook them."
Milwaukee may have been hoping for the opposite as they took to the United Center floor for shootaround on Monday morning. A thrilling victory on a last-second layup by Jerryd Bayless have breathed some life into the team after three previous defeats.
They've heard the talk about Bulls-Cavs in the media over the past 24 hours. They hope to quiet it with a second-straight victory at the United Center.
"We always believe we can come back," said guard Michael Carter-Williams when asked if the Bucks were motivated people already look ahead to the second round without them in it. "It's going to be tough but we believe in each other and we think we can do it."
Many others would disagree.