Celtics coach trying to keep a positive outlook despite 0-2 deficit

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens tried to keep a positive outlook when speaking to reporters Wednesday. The teams will take two days off before the No. 8 Bulls try to build on their 2-0 series lead on Friday at the United Center.

    Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens tried to keep a positive outlook when speaking to reporters Wednesday. The teams will take two days off before the No. 8 Bulls try to build on their 2-0 series lead on Friday at the United Center. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/19/2017 9:28 PM

Both teams took the day off Wednesday, but Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens spoke to reporters on a conference call and tried to keep a positive outlook.

The No. 8 seed Bulls headed home with a 2-0 series lead, with Game 3 set for Friday at the United Center,

 

"I can't wait for Friday night's game," Stevens said, according to The Boston Globe. "Like, I wish it was tonight. I think that's because of the taste in your mouth.

"I think the biggest thing is just trying to keep guys upbeat, and if we do what we need to do and play the right way, possession to possession, then really good things will happen. And that's my focus."

Celtics star Isaiah Thomas flew back home to the Seattle after Game 2 to spend time with his family. His younger sister Chyna, 22, died Saturday in a car accident. The plan is for Thomas to return to Chicago for Game 3. He scored 33 points in the series opener, then struggled at times in Game 2, finishing with 20 points on 6 of 15 shooting,

Playoff Rondo revisited:

Boston fans have talked about the return of "playoff Rondo." During his nine seasons with the Celtics, current Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo had some of his best moments during the playoffs.

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In 2009, when Boston played without the injured Kevin Garnett, Rondo averaged 16.9 points, 9.8 assists and 9.7 rebounds in the postseason. In the Bulls' Game 2 win on Tuesday, Rondo delivered 14 assists and missed a triple-double by 1 rebound.

"For the playoffs, me in particular, you get a couple of extra days rest for the body," Rondo said after Game 2. "You get three or four days of prep on a team, lock into their game plan. And I'm playing plus minutes. I don't know what it is. I try to lock in and do what I can for my team."

No time to relax:

After Game 2, Boston guard Avery Bradley said he heard Rajon Rondo telling his Bulls teammates to finish off the Celtics, yelling, "They gave up."

Bradley didn't try to argue Rondo's point and felt the Celtics' body language should have been better.

"I looked around and a few times in the game guys were putting their heads down, I think getting down on themselves," Bradley said. "But as a team we have to stay together. The other team is looking at that. They're using that as motivation for themselves."

"It's not the end of the world for us," Boston's Jae Crowder added. "We feel like we have the unit, we have the togetherness to go to Chicago and take Game three."

Bulls horns:

Boston guard Marcus Smart was fined $25,000 for making an obscene gesture at a fan late in Game 2. … Here's a memorable line in a column by The Globe's Christopher L. Gasper: "The Bulls would be prevaricating if they said they expected Lopez to play like the genetically engineered spawn of David Robinson and Robert Parish." Lopez is averaging 16 points and 9 rebounds in this series, compared to 10.4 points and 6.4 boards in the regular season.

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