Despite ending the regular season 12 games ahead of the Bulls, who were 41-41, the Celtics have looked nothing like a regular season conference champion.
Then, the news on Friday about Rajon Rondo's thumb fracture slowed just about everyone's roll about thinking the Bulls could pull the upset.
He is expected to rejoin the team Friday for Game 3 in Chicago.
"Sometimes that becomes a function of guys pressing and guys feeling that things aren't going our way", Stevens said.
The tenacity with which the Bulls have come out is surprising, especially since the team barely squeaked into the playoffs with its.500 record. Rondo was vital to the Bulls' two victories, averaging 11.5 points, 10.0 assists and 8.5 rebounds, orchestrating the team's offense while providing defense against risky Celtics scorer Isaiah Thomas.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Milwaukee.
Boston will bounce back and win a few games in this series, but if Butler continues to play like the best player on the floor there is a good chance the Bulls prevail.
That's not exactly the hottest trio of guards to choose from if you're Fred Hoiberg.
In his post-game interview, however, the four-time All-Star denied trying to trip the Celtics small forward despite the damning video and offered a brilliant explanation.
Butler is averaging 26 points through the first two games.
Dwyane Wade led Chicago with 18 points and Jimmy Butler, who connected on just seven of his 21 shots from the floor, finished with 14. Now the underdogs are looking to become just the fifth No. 8 seed to take down the top team in National Basketball Association playoff history. While he might not bring the effort for every game in an 82 game regular season, the veteran point guard is known to show up in national TV games.
But, the gap in total rebounding was much closer on Tuesday night in Game 2.
With their playoff lives hanging in the balance, the Boston Celtics are turning to Gerald Green.
Believe it or not, Rondo plays into this category, too. The Celtics do not need a flawless game, and they do not need to play quite as well as they needed to in the first two games, but this can not be an excuse to feel any kind of complacency or confidence in what they have already been doing. That comes back to the young guards as well. Performances like this are what the Bulls will need to knock off the Celtics. You're going to face a lot of adversity. And Rondo, who was dismissed from the Dallas Mavericks DURING the playoffs, has been a near-psychic pest on defense and a stat-sheet filler on the other end. Rondo and played through it, but X-rays later revealed the fracture, which won't require surgery.