Chicago’s youngsters star in upset

Bulls GM John Paxson has taken a lot of grief for his decision to the draft rights of LaMarcus Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas back in 2006. But as Thomas was knocking down jumper after jumper in the fourth quarter of Game 1 at the Garden, that trade doesn’t look quite as bad anymore. Sure, Aldridge still projects to have the better career, but Thomas has made big strides in his third season, and he’s still just 22 years old. He finished with 16 points (on 8 of 12 shooting), six rebounds and three blocks.

But I’m burying the lead. Derrick Rose was the reason the Bulls were able to pull the upset. He posted 36 points (tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most points by a rookie in his playoff debut) and 11 assists. He shot 12 of 19 from the field and made all 12 of his free throws. It was truly one of the best playoff debuts by a rookie in the history of the league, especially considering that he was going up one of the better defensive point guards in Rajon Rondo.

Joakim Noah rounded out the “young core” trio with 12 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. Ben Gordon chipped in with 20 points and had a great fourth quarter.

The Celtics are in a bad way down 0-1 and without Kevin Garnett for the foreseeable future. Rondo played well (29 points, nine boards, seven dimes, one turnover), and Paul Pierce scored an inefficient 23 points (on 8 of 21 shooting), but Ray Allen’s 1 for 12 shooting killed Boston.

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