Bulls vs Pacers 7pm on WGN

The Chicago Bulls finish up their homestand with a game against the Pacers.   Both teams are coming off back to backs and both won last night.   The Bulls are likely feeling good after defeating Orlando while the Pacers snapped a six game losing streak (started with a loss to the Bulls) by crushing New Jersey by 32.

Keys to the game

Defend the three point line and the fast break

The Pacers can do a lot of damage from behind the arc.   When Dunleavy and Granger knock down their threes the Pacers are significantly better team than when they're not.  The other way the Pacers hurt you is with their athleticism.  Outside of Roy Hibbert's plodding along, the Pacers are a fast up and down team.

Overall, the Pacers don't have a ton of threats on offense, and the Bulls defense should contain them.

Boozer and Rose should roll

Both have huge matchup advantages tonight.  Collison is fast, but Rose simply beasted him last game using his size and strength.   Boozer is also too strong down low for McRoberts to deal with.  As such, the Bulls biggest strengths should match up well against the Pacers defense.

Manage the fundamentals

The Pacers get much of their offense with their defense, so the Bulls need to control the defensive glass and limit turnovers.   The Bulls did an outstanding job of controlling their business against Orlando, wining the rebounding battle and only turning the ball over 11 times on the night.   A repeat performance will go a long way towards securing the victory.

Final thoughts

The Pacers are a defensive oriented team that struggles to find adequate offense.  I think we know a bit about that here in Chicago.   The Bulls match up really well with them at the key positions, and they probably don't need to play their best game to win.

However, because the Pacers can defend, they're a hot shooting night away from pulling off a victory at any given point.  I expect the Bulls to win, but the Pacers will likely hang around all night and keep it close.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • keep an eye on rookie Paul George. The Bulls liked this kid, and he is starting to get good minutes with Rush out, and has been impressive

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Had a nice box score against NJ, obviously I was watching the Bulls though.

  • limit mental mistakes, avoid the terrible quarter. I'm looking for CJ Watson to show up big tonight to give Derrick some rest.

  • MAKE ROY HIBBERT BEAT YOU!!!!!! haha lol

    Bulls need to be ready right from tip off in this game. Get the Pacers down quick and let them lose their confidence. If we play well, we should stomp them.

    Good Point Chiry...i liked George a lot too. Maybe we will see some Lance Stephenson tonite too.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    this a good one ! loooool

  • In reply to Csharp:

    If we could do that, we've already won.

  • I see the Bulls perhaps being a little flat this game, but being mentally tough in the end to make the plays necessary to win.

    Doug, how about a thread on current SG trade options? I'd like to see a scouting report on potential players. Their game, character, what it'd take to get them, and long-term consequences on team flexibility.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    I did one earlier, and my basic conclusion was that we aren't getting anyone. I will do another before the trade deadline I'm sure though, but I'll probably wait until we get a bit closer to it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Solid. Looking forward to it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Ouch, Bulls defense just getting cut to pieces. Deng's offense the only good thing in this game so far.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Looks like Rose is having a tough time today...Thibs should give him some rest and get him back for the 4th quarter rather than tire him out....

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls allowing 3s and fast break points, the two things I thought could hurt them. I doubt the Pacers keep it up, but our defense has been atrocious.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls pull Boozer and Thomas both and go with Asik and Gibson to match the Pacers speed better. Nice adjustment by Thibodeau, it's led to good possessions, though Den gdidn't help the Bulls cause any with two missed free throws.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls fast lineup defending pretty well so far, Gibson/Asik doing a nice job of athletically rebounding. Scoring has been a greater issue though with Rose out.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    spent 3 minutes trying to rewind the game to find Gibson's jumper because the box score called it a three, and I thought there was no way it was a 3.

    Then at the same time I finally find it on the tivo, the box score updates and changes it to a 2, and low and behold he was about 5 feet inside the three point line.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls come out of the timeout with a more offensive look swapping Omer and Deng for Boozer and Korver. Boozer scores 2 straight hoops (one put back and one iso) and only gives up one on the other end so far.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Taj Gibson hurried up to get out of the way on that drive. Terrible.

    I think I also so a first, a drive, a guy fell down in the paint and they decided to go 'no call' rather than charge or block, they should do that more.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls have scored virtually every possession since the offensive substitution, but they've allowed the Pacers to score virtually every possession as well.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I would have bet under on this one, but boy would that have been a mistake.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not really playing out like you'd expect from these teams. If you told me the score was 45-42, I'd guess it was already half time.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Agreed.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I hope Thibs gives minutes to Korver if Dunleavy or any other slow wing player like him is playing

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Dunleavy is eating up that battle.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bulls putting it together enough to make a bit of a run. Up 9 at the time out with 2:30 left in the quarter.

    Important time to close out the quarter, Bulls go on a run they can possibly put the game away, Pacers go on a run they can turn it into a dog fight.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Indiana scores 7 straight in the first minute and a half of that stretch before Derrick drew a foul. Bulls missed Korver wide open behind the three point line about four times.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Stacey just made a comment about how this team has great chemistry. Anyone still want to trade 3+ players to disrupt that?

  • In reply to zentastic:

    Depends who they get and which three players they are. Clearly you don't disrupt great chemistry for the hell of it, but you improve your team if you can.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yes, of course. However, most of the trade proposals I see typically draw from the pool of Gibson, Brewer, Korver, Thomas, Watson, Asik, and Bogans...even Boozer and Noah. I would say any one of those players (with the possible exception of Bogans, although he has been shooting with more confidence lately) have been integral to the team's success.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Gibson blocks Price at the end of the 3rd. It was a long heave with little chance of going in, but I like those little things. They add up.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    those quick 3s by rose never go in

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You got to appreciate Taj...he doesn't give up easily on rebounds and he can be good against 90% of the PFs in the league.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Hopefully I didn't jinx him..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    it doesnt look good

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Don't like to see that. Hope Taj is ok. That had the look of something more significant, but I hope not.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I was thinking the same thing about my comment :/

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Are the crowd happy that the Bulls are opening up a lead or happy that they're starting to look like getting burgers? I can never tell.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I say Big Mac attack.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    Put those Big Macs on Brewer's poster.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    With the "I'm lovin' it" slogan.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Deng has really been impressive with his passing tonight, not often he has a big assist game, 8 ties his career high.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Nice second half after a not so great first half. Always good to get some Scal minutes (not because of the silly crowd favourite thing, because it means the win is in the bag).

    Lets just hope Taj's injury turns out to be not too serious.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    For those who missed it...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3E0xIfcrlE

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The Bulls are consistently recognizing and exploiting match up advantages, the floor spacing is good, the ball movement is sharp, they're attacking the offensive glass, and the pick and roll and pick and pop are clicking. Thibs has these guys playing disciplined offense to go along with their superior defense. Damn it's going to be nice when Noah comes back. It'll cut into Asik's minutes but Asik's gotten enough run to be ready when Thibs needs him against the bigger front lines.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    anyone see the post game interviews? Ronnie & Kyle were wearing the same exact shirt. wtf?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Good thing Indiana's coach took that McRoberts guy out. Dude was killing us.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Monster dunk by Brewer with 3:23 left. Put this one in the bag. Only concern going forward is Taj's injury.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    here comes the 4 minute no offense stretch

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Rose's shots just look dead tonight ...

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Yeah, he's a little off today, but the bench has been solid. Depth of this team is good and hopefully it'll make up for when starters have off nights.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think they should run some plays with Korver and Gibson...Gibson fights well and gets rebounds of Korver's misses and he might get the Korver defender free for a sec..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Interesting idea. I like the idea of looking for Korver off of offensive rebounds because the defense typically isn't set as well, and he tends to get open. He's scored a ton of 3s off of offensive boards.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Considering what the Bulls have been doing defensively of late that was a really awful half. That said if you told me Rose would only have 5 and 4 at the half I'd take any lead.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The defense was definitely poor. The Bulls haven't gotten in a run and gun game in awhile and have defended poorly in transition.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bogans reaches the magic number.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    OK, if Granger or someone good hit shots then fair enough, but just letting Josh McRoberts get 4 garbage buckets in a row ...

  • In reply to zentastic:

    Indiana is like Detroit, Bobcats, Philadelphia etc.. who have a bunch of role players and a player or two who are stars but not enough to be a 1st/2nd option on a contending team. I think that's why these teams might make the playoffs, make some noise but never contend unless they get a stud top 5 pick.
    I would look for somebody like Watson or Korver to have a huge game today..

  • Are the Bulls playing at the UC? Check. Are they playing a team in their division? Check.

    Should be an easy win if the season so far is any form guide.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The Bulls have pretty much cruised at the UC all year.

    22-4 at home with the losses being to New York, Orlando, Clippers, and the Bobcats.

  • Good to hear about Gibson.

    As you point out, I'm also pleased with how the team finishes out games. It was frustrating in years past when they'd be in games late but couldn't come up with the plays to pull it out.

    Yeah, this first mini road-trip will be a good test, but I think they have a decent chance of racking up 4 wins, although I can live with 3.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    The Hornets game will be tough but we're a decent chance in the other 4. I'd be very surprised if the Bulls won all four though, given their road record 3 would be an excellent result.

Leave a comment