The Bulls were forced to change their starting lineup when point guard Rajon Rondo was revealed to have fractured his right thumb in Game 2.
The Celtics are also changing their lineup heading in Game 3, but head coach Brad Stevens is doing it on his own.
The Celtics will go small Friday night at the United Center, replacing power forward Amir Johnson with guard Gerald Green. Small forward Jae Crowder will shift to power forward as the Celtics attempt to add length, athleticism and speed to a starting lineup that has been soundly outplayed through two games.
"We want to be able to spread them on offense and shoot the ball. And then we want to, on defense, is we’re gonna not play two bigs, we’ve got to be long and athletic on the perimeter and we’ve got to help each other rebound," Stevens said.
The Celtics have been badly beaten on the glass in the first two games of the series, allowing the eighth-seeded Bulls an unlikely 2-0 lead. Green played sparingly in the first two games of the series, logging just 6 minutes in Game 1 before a DNP-CD in Game 2.
Green has only played 16 minutes with the rest of the Boston starters this season (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Crowder and Al Horford), and before the game he spoke to the media about how he won't try to do too much in his new role.
"Honestly I feel like I play really good with (Thomas). Feel like I’ve always played really good with him. I’m not going to try to do anything out of my character," he said. "Just gonna go out there and focus on rebounding, defense, and just try to be the most athletic player on the court. Try to make plays on both ends of the floor."
Johnson has been ineffective in slowing down the crashing Bulls, who have 31 offensive rebounds through two games in the series. Johnson has tallied a combined nine points and six rebounds in 27 minutes.
Jerian Grant will start in place of Rondo. But it's the Celtics who blinked first in this first-round staring contest.