5-on-5: The 411 on Celtics, Bulls

Originally Published: April 7, 2011
ESPN.com

Tom ThibodeauJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesAre Tom Thibodeau's defensive schemes enough to take down his old team? Our writers make the call.

Where do the Celtics and Bulls stand heading into their big Thursday night showdown? In today's 5-on-5, we turned to technology to find out.

We asked our five writers to text in their responses, using 160 characters or fewer, to our five burning questions on the top two teams in the Eastern Conference standings. Then we turned to Twitter on Wednesday night to get your responses.


1. Text me: Who has the better Big 4, Boston or Chicago?



Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: CHI has the best Big 1 but BOS has the next-best 4 guys after him. Not that the Bulls' guys don't play their roles, but C's 4 play their roles better.

Matt Moore, Hardwood Paroxysm: Depends. Are we talking star power? BOS by a hair. CHI strong but not enough. Are we talking chem? Still BOS. Talented, effective, work together. Experienced.

Breene Murphy, ClipperBlog: Derrick Rose buoys the Bulls, but the Celts have the better Big 4. There's more consistency and versatility with Rondo, Garnett, Pierce and Allen.

Danny Savitzky, Nets Are Scorching: Boston, even with Rose's go-to offensive ability. Both foursomes thrive on sound team defense, but the Celtics' unit has Finals experience on its side.

Zarar Siddiqi, Raptors Republic: BOS. In 2 years it'll be CHI. KG & Rondo's D has edge over Boozer & Rose's O. Pain of losing Finals fuels them more than CHI, who are happy to be good.

Your take:

@NBAonESPN Celtics -- with 3 seasoned vets w/ playoff experience led by Rondo at point, their 4 will be successful in 7game series. #espn5on58 p.m. ET via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply


2. Text me: Who will get to two rings first, Rajon Rondo or Derrick Rose?


NAME
Rose

NAME
Rondo

Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: Rondo has to be more likely to get two rings, because his team is arguably more ready to win the title this year. He has a head start, too.

Matt Moore, Hardwood Paroxysm: Gotta go Rondo. Rose doesn't have the 1st, and that jewelry ain't easy to get. Rose may end up as a HOFer, but Rondo has a contending team and 1 already.

Breene Murphy, ClipperBlog: Rondo, since he has already won one and has a decent chance this year. But with the Heat and the Thunder awaiting in the future, nothing's guaranteed.

Danny Savitzky, Nets Are Scorching: Rondo. He already has a leg up, and Boston's an arguable favorite out East. If the C's don't win this year, that tips the scales in the other direction.

Zarar Siddiqi, Raptors Republic: Rose. At least if Rondo stays in BOS. CHI in embryonic stage of a dynasty, BOS could be 1/4 and rebuilding. Riley's working on a trade to get Rondo to MIA.

Your take:

@NBAonESPN Rondo. He just needs one. He has 4 Hall of Fame players around him. The Celtics know all about playoff intensity.9 p.m. ET via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply


3. Text me: Who would you pick as your next coach, Doc or Thibs?


NAME
Thibodeau

NAME
Rivers

Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: Doc's a great coach, best at drawing up plays out of timeouts. But Thibs seems to have more drive now. Take the guy with more fire & the best defensive system.

Matt Moore, Hardwood Paroxysm: I would hold a screaming and motivational match between the 2. Loudest decibels and corniest theme wins. Thibodeau louder, Doc cornier. Winner: earplugs.

Breene Murphy, ClipperBlog: My next coach? Thibs. He has been so competent in his first season with a young team and already knows how to correct VDN's mistakes.

Danny Savitzky, Nets Are Scorching: Thibodeau. His capacity to design, inspire stifling defense is an immaculate quality in a coach. Doc's success is partly dependent on Thibs' assistance anyway.

Zarar Siddiqi, Raptors Republic: Depends on the type of team. For the Raptors, I'll take Thibs. He's early in his coaching career, won't mind losing as much. Will extract better effort.

Your take:

@NBAonESPN Thibs- Doc's ubuntu was a factor, but Thibs' work w/ Chi's D, including his below-average-on-D PG, shows he pushed Bos over the top11 p.m. ET via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply


4. Text me: How many O'Neals do the C's need to be true contenders?


NAME
S. O'Neal

NAME
J. O'Neal

Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: Assuming Ainge can fire up the Delorean, gun it to 88mph and go get a good version of 1 of the O'Neals, it will take just 1. If not, they need both these guys.

Matt Moore, Hardwood Paroxysm: 1.5. They should combine JO and Shaq to make a Super-O'Neal cyborg. Surely if you put them together, you can get 2 good legs out of the 4, right? Maybe not.

Breene Murphy, ClipperBlog: 1. A healthy Shaq makes them legitimate. Although, I wouldn't feel comfortable relying on Shaq or Jermaine to be healthy for an entire playoff run.

Danny Savitzky, Nets Are Scorching: 1. The front line is weak with only KG, Baby and Krstic. They need a reliable 4th in the rotation, one who can single-cover Dwight Howard.

Zarar Siddiqi, Raptors Republic: Is Kendrick Perkins' middle name O'Neal? If so, 1. If not, a healthy JO performing at Leon Powe-squared levels should be enough to get to the Finals.

Your take:

@NBAonESPN Whichever O'Neal can bring the intensity for 25 minutes a night thru the playoffs. As of now, hopefully that's Shaq #espn5on511 p.m. ET via web Favorite Retweet Reply


5. Text me: Who wins the Celtics-Bulls game tonight?



Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: Bulls are going to want to send a message to prove they're the best in the East. I'll take the home team with something to prove.

Matt Moore, Hardwood Paroxysm: They say that knowing is half the battle. Well, Derrick Rose knows he can attack the Celtics. And the C's know they need to stay healthy, not just win. Chicago.

Breene Murphy, ClipperBlog: Bulls. They have league's best defense, a +10 point differential at home, lost once at home since Jan. 18, and haven't lost to an elite team at home all year.

Danny Savitzky, Nets Are Scorching: Celtics. I like Rondo's chances of preventing an offensive explosion from Rose. Without that, the Bulls' O will struggle mightily against stingy Boston D.

Zarar Siddiqi, Raptors Republic: Celtics. The Bulls relied heavily on Rose to push them through vs. Raptors. I'll give Pierce clutch scoring and Rondo/Celtics Team D the edge.

Your take:

@NBAonESPN Bulls have never beaten Celtics with KG in the lineup this season1 a.m. ET via Mobile Web Favorite Retweet Reply


Zach Harper is the host of ESPN.com's Daily Dime Live. Matt Moore, Breene Murphy, Danny Savitzky and Zarar Siddiqi are writers for the TrueHoop Network.

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