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The Chicago Bulls have played slightly below their expectations this season in the tough Central Division due to the emergence of their talented young players. They have won thirty-two of their seventy-two games. The Bulls boast one of the best group of young players in the league. Luol Deng, their sophmore phenom, can do it all - score, rebound, pass, defend, etc. Ben Gordon is one of the most explosive scorers in the league. Kirk Hinrich has great ball-handling ability and is a very good defender. He can score and pass though he does often have problems with his shooting efficiency. Chris Duhon is one of the best point guard defenders in the league. He is a floor general and can dictate the pace of the game. Tyson Chandler is a good rebounder and defender but has struggled this season at the center position. Michael Sweentey, in Tommy Heinsohn's words, is a "widebody" that can post up on Raef LaFrentz and Ryan Gomes and easily score. Andres Nocioni is a tough, scrappy forward. This will be a tough game. The Bulls have very good defenders and can slow down Pierce and Szczerbiak.

The Chicago Bulls'

**W**, 123-98

**(**boxscore

**)**.

The Boston Celtics'

**W**, 113-107

**(**boxscore

**)**.

The Boston Celtics last played the Chicago Bulls this week, on March 26th,

**L**, 97-101

**(**boxscore

**)**. Paul Pierce lead the Celtics team with 24 points on 8-21 shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists (and also four turnovers). Wally Szczerbiak scored 23 points on 7-19 shooting with six rebounds, two assists, and also, four turnovers. Delonte West scored 17 (7-13 shooting) with five rebounds, four assists, and five turnovers. Off the bench, Perkins scored eight points and totaled

**14 rebounds**, while rejecting

**five**shots. The Celtics had 19 turnovers to the Bulls' eight. Luol Deng lead a balanced Bulls attack with twenty points. Six Bulls players scored in the double-digits with four scoring at least 16 points. Duhon and Hinrich combined for twelve assists and Chandler recorded a double-double including four blocks, two of them especially significant in the fourth quarter.

The Boston Celtics previously played the Chicago Bulls,

**L**, 86-118

**(**boxscore

**)**. Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis combined for 41 points, leading the dismal Celtics team. The Celtics shot

**38.4%**and the Bulls never cooled off, shooting

**59.7%**from the field and

**14-17**from the perimeter. Mike Sweetney had 24 points (10-13 shooting) with seven rebounds. Chris Duhon scored 22 points and recorded eight assists. Duhon hit six of seven three-point attempts; Nocioni, 4-5 and Gordon, 2-3. The now-injured Darius Songaila had 16 points on 7-10 shooting. Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, and Tyson Chandler were relative non-factors combining for 17 points on 7-13 shooting with 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

The Boston Celtics previously played the Chicago Bulls,

**L**, 102-106

**(**boxscore

**)**. Paul Pierce gave one of his best performances of the season with

**43**points on 12-21 shooting (including 5-8 from the perimeter) with eleven rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Delonte West was the only other Celtic to give a decent performance in a disappointing loss as he scored eleven points (5-10 shooting) and made big plays to keep the Celtics in the game down to the last second.

The Bulls have won three of their last five games and the Celtics have won two of their last five games. The Bulls are 16-19 playing at the United Center and the Celtics are 10-26 away The Bulls score 97points per game and give up 97 points per game. The Celtics score 98.3 points per game and give up 99.6 points per game. The Bulls have won five of their last five; the Celtics four of their last five.

The Bulls play the Celtics once more in the rest of the regular season.

The probable starters for each team:

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