If you’ve been surprised by the way the Chicago Bulls have bullied the Boston Celtics in taking a 2-0 series lead over the Eastern Conference 1-seed, you’re not alone. It turns out even Dwyane Wade is surprised by it.

“I’m going to lie? We’re a confident team, but you don’t think you’re going into Boston and get two,” Wade told ESPN. “You’re just trying to get one, that’s your focus. But once you’ve got that one, now it’s just another game. Now you got to try and get the next one. But coming in, I didn’t say, ‘Hey, we’re going to be up 2-0 on Boston.’ No one thought that. But we are in this position and we’ve earned it.”

No one’s arguing that the Bulls haven’t earned it. They’ve done it in various ways, too. In Game 1 it was the bench that was the difference-maker, as the Bulls reserves outscored the Celtics bench 35-22. And in Game 2 the Bulls stars shined, as Wade and Jimmy Butler combined for 44 points on 17-of-35 shooting. 

Under the leadership of Wade, who has been in nearly every situation during his decade-plus NBA career except as an 8-seed, the Bulls aren’t taking their advantage lightly. They know anything can happen in the NBA and in the playoffs, and that the Celtics’ 1-seed wasn’t a fluke.

“This is a good team,” Wade added. “They’re not a No. 1 seed for no reason. This is a seven-game series. We’ve talked about what we need to do, to try to make it tough on them. … We give ourselves a chance by rebounding the ball, not having too many turnovers and executing on our own, knowing that they’re a tough defensive team. This is one of the best defensive teams that you’re going to play, especially from a guard standpoint. With [Jae] Crowder, with Avery Bradley and [Marcus] Smart.

“So these two games, obviously it’s great that we’re up 2-0, but it could have easily been 1-1 as well. We take it with a grain of salt. We take it for what it’s worth. Now our focus and goal is to come in and prepare, get our minds and bodies ready for tomorrow.”

As the series shifts from Boston to Chicago, the Bulls have a chance to do what many believed was improbable: Sweep the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics and close the series at home. Game 3 on Friday night will tell us a lot about how the rest of this series might play out.


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