The Bulls won a thriller in overtime last night against the Portland Trail Blazers and will look to get another win tonight, as they travel to Indiana to face the Pacers. Chicago beat them on Wednsesday, but will be without center Joakim Noah tonight.
All-Star Derrick Rose scored 33 points last night, and looked dominant handling the offense. Luol Deng added 23 points and made the go-ahead dunk to give the Bulls a four-point win.
Power forward Taj Gibson has been a tremendous help for the Bulls over the past two weeks, and the Bulls have a steady rotation with Hakim Warrick backing him up. In fact, the two new Bulls players in Warrick and Flip Murray have been nice additions to the team, and has added depth for a possible playoff run.
Chicago is 31-27 and have played excellent ball over the past two months. A big part of that success has been the play of Rose who has averaged 22.5 points since new years. Rose has understood his role in the offense and has grown more aggressive every game.
The Pacers are led by forward Danny Granger, an explosive scorer who can score inside, outside and get to the line. Indiana is a team that can get hot from behind the arc real quick, so it's essential for the Bulls to guard the three-point line. Indiana connected on thirteen shots from distance and forced themselves back into the game after Chicago took a huge lead in the first quarter.
Chicago is 12-18 on the road this year, and this is one of those games that has to be viewed as a 'must win' situation in order to improve that record. The Bulls have not been a strong road for years, and needs to get better at closing out games away from the United Center.