East Notes: Bulls, Celtics, Robert Williams, Bucks


Many around the Bulls seem to be hopeful their big road win over the West-leading Nuggets will be the start of something good.

“We’ve got a stretch of games that we need to win to get to where we want,” forward Patrick Williams told reporters. “I think it was good to kind of show ourselves that, but also show other teams that we’re here.”

Coach Billy Donovan agreed.

“We were moving the ball and making quick, decisive decisions and the ball is getting from one action to the next,” he said. “I think that’s when we’re at our best. It kind of connects us and I think it connects us defensively, as well. The thing that was encouraging tonight was it was sustained.”


Coach Joe Mazzulla said the Celtics are trying to return to the team that was at its best before the All-Star break.

“I think that’s always the goal, no matter how many games are left.,” Mazzulla told reporters. “The great teams stay the best version of themselves the longest. And when you don’t, you have to quickly get back to who you are.”

  • Center Robert Williams (hamstring) will travel with the team to Atlanta as it begins a six-game trip. Mazzulla said the hope is that Williams can return to action within the next week.


With the best record in the Eastern Conference and a lead over the Celtics of 2.5 games (entering Thursday), the Bucks are being viewed as the team to beat — and in the entire NBA by some.

For instance, they’ve risen to No. 1 in the NBC Sports power rankings. 

“That matters because it puts them on the opposite side of the bracket from the Celtics and 76ers, who would have to go through each other before facing Giannis Antetokounmpo and company,” wrote NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin of the top seed. “The Bucks are happy to let them beat each other up. Three-game road trip starts Saturday in Golden State in a nationally televised showdown against Stephen Curry and friends.”

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