In the long playoff history of the Boston Celtics there have been non-championship series that stand out. C’s-Bucks, C’s-Hawks, C’s-Cavs and more. The Boston Celtics-Bulls 2009 1st round playoff series added gray hairs to many Celtics fans heads, with four overtime games. One of those games was a double OT game and one went to triple OT. Five games were decided by a basket, and Game 2 of the series was no exception. This was the title defense for the Champion Celtics who didn’t have Kevin Garnett (who injured his knee earlier in the season).
The Celtics were taking on Derek Rose, who was in his first postseason. In Game 1 the rookie surpassed Kareem Abdul Jabbar with a rookie playoff scoring record 36 points, en route to a game one victory. Although this series didn’t feature MJ, McHale or Bird the intensity of the 2009 series challenged series from the 80’s.
There must be something about April 20th and playoffs for Chicago and Boston. This game took place 23 years to the day of MJ scoring 63 on the C’s in a first round series, which the Celtics eventually swept. On April 20th, 2009 Boston won Game 2 of the conference quarterfinals 118-115 to even the series at one game apiece. This was a close game through the entire 48 minutes, although early on it looked like it was going to be a Boston Blowout with the C’s jumping out in front 18-6. The Bulls came back to take a three-point lead at the half, but in the 2nd half there were 15 lead changes. With 25 seconds left in the 4th Ray Allen hit a 3 pointer to put Boston in front by two. Ben Gordon had the game of his life for the Bulls, scoring a game high 42 points, and three of them came on a shot with 12 seconds left to tie the game at 115. Ray Allen’s name isn’t said much in Boston now, but in 2009 he pulled the C’s out of the fire with a game winning three pointer to give the Celtics the 118-115 win.
Coming into this game Ray Allen shot 1-12 from the field in Game 1. In Game 2 it’s safe to say he rebounded well, with 30 points on 9-18 shooting in the field. Rajon Rondo had a series to remember, but in Game 2 he scored a triple-double with 19 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds.
For the Bulls, a young Derrick Rose was held in check with 10 points in 34 minutes. Rose’s point total blended in with the rest of Chicago’s production, as nobody else scored over 20 points. The Bench for the Bulls did outscore the Celtics 27-9.
This game was the end of a great Patriots Day for Boston. The Red Sox blasted Baltimore in an early game 12-1, and the Bruins took a 3-0 series lead over Montreal with a 4-2 victory. The 2009 postseason was a grind for the Celtics. Without KG, the Celtics won in seven games, but it affected them in the second round against the Magic as that was the series that ended Boston’s season.