It's never fun to go on the road and play a team struggling for their playoff life. Especially when you're on a back to back and are potentially missing your starting powerforward and using your center who's still recovering from the flu.
This game won't be easy. Don't believe me?
Yeah, I don't really buy it either, but it's tough to create drama when going against the NCAA tournament.
Let's face it, the Bulls are considerable favorites in this game. It doesn't mean they'll win. The favorite doesn't always win. It does mean if they lose it will be an incredible disappointment though, especially given all that is riding on the game.
It's worth noting Indy is also coming off a back to back and will be missing Mike Dunleavy for the game who's out with a broken thumb. Since Dunleavy left the lineup, the Pacers have been 4-9 though they did win two of their last three, hilariously, both against the Knicks.
The Pacers are also coming off a back to back where they dropped a game to Boston, so they won't be all full of energy either as both teams played on the East coast last night.
Keys to the game
Defend Danny Granger, because really, who else can hurt you?
The Pacers don't have a lot of offensive depth and without Dunleavy their threat as a shooting team is down considerably as well. Make sure Danny Granger doesn't go ape crap in the game against you, and you're probably fine. They have Hibbert and Hansbrough on the interior, but neither is that dynamic of an offensive player. Darren Collison is solid but is likely to get beasted by Rose on both ends.
Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals
Control the glass, control your turnovers, get back on defense, and rack up the W. Really, against teams like Indiana, you just need to make sure you don't give the game away with free opportunities for them. They are a poor offensive team, and the Bulls suffocating defense should crush them.
Derrick Rose can go off in this game
While the Pacers have been solid defensively this season, they lack anyone who can handle Rose at PG and don't have tremendous interior defense. Rose needs to avoid jacking up 6+ threes and move the ball when he's not driving instead to facilitate the offense.
The Bulls need to keep winning to keep the pressure on Boston. The Celtics will be playing at Houston tonight in a game they should. Hopefully Chicago is able to avoid a let down and continue to hang on to the one seed.