With five wins on the trot, the Chicago Bulls have looked better with each outing and currently lie second in the Eastern Conference standings. There is an air of confidence among the Bulls players, who are set to face the Boston Celtics at the United Center on Thursday.
The Celtics, on the other hand, have played some decent basketball and lie eighth with 19 wins and 16 losses.
The Celtics have a tough task on their hands, as they face the rampaging Bulls, who have been putting up some clinical performances, scoring more than 100 points in their last five victories, which just reflects the offensive abilities in their squad.
Jimmy Butler is primarily responsible for the Chicago Bulls being in such great form in the NBA at present. Butler averages 31.3 points in his last four appearances and will target more of the same against the Celtics.
Butler, though, believes all the players in the team are delivering the goods. "Everybody's doing their job, trying to win their matchup," AP quoted Butler as saying. "When you buy into that team thing, you win five games in a row."
The Bulls have been further strengthened by the return of Derrick Rose, who had missed three games due to a hamstring problem. Rose featured against the Milwaukee Bucks and took time to settle down.
''I thought Derrick was good. He was a little rusty out of the gate. Once he started attacking the basket, I really liked the way he was playing,'' Bulls coach Hoiberg said.
Apart from Butler, Pau Gasol also has been performing consistently for the Bulls, with 16.7 points per game and 10.7 rebounds this season. His combined offensive and defensive game has been top class.
If the duo gets their form right on Thursday night, the Celtics will probably suffer their second straight defeat, after having lost thrice in their last four games, prior to which they were on a decent winning streak.
The Celtics might not possess players in top form like Butler, but they have some quality ones like Isaiah Thomas, who can win games on his own.
Where to watch live
Chicago Bulls vs Boston Celtics NBA game has been scheduled for 8pm ET(6:30am IST) start with live TV coverage in India on Sony Six while the live streaming is available on Sonyliv.
Viewers in Philippines can watch the game live on ABS-CBN Sports + Action.
US viewers can watch the live NBA game on TNT, with the live stream option on TNT Overtime.
Viewers around the world, including those in India and the US, can watch all the NBA live action by live streaming on NBA Online.