Bulls @ Pacers 6pm on CSN

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. 

Final thoughts

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.

Comments

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  • I am curious to see how our front-court handle Psycho-T. One thing though is the Pacers can score a lot. Are they in the top 10 on offense?

    BTW, I don't think the Pacers played yesterday night on the East Coast. They played on Wednesday.

  • Booz still out.

    Expect same rotation as last night with JoNo taking Tyler to deny him the hussle points he's so good at.

    Derrick is gonna love this game; expect big number.

    Josh McRoberts has done well against us before but this is a game where the lack of Booz will help us as Pacers PF's are very active so JoNo and Taj matchup better.
    I like Paul George (alot) [- shame we couldn't get him in the draft last year - I know he was a firm favourite of GarPax and fans] and he is playing very well since moving into the starting line up. He has good range so I see him as the Pacers main threat. Luol v Granger is a tie so the SG position is the only one I can see the Pacers having any success at.

    I forecast another nail biting (very little left after the Nets comeback in the 4th last night) win; solely because the Bulls struggle to kill off teams and always allow the opponents to hang around a little too much for my liking!

  • The NJ win was HUGE and I

  • My key actually is to stop Tyler Hansbrough. I think if the Bulls do that (which they should) Bulls should be able to dominate. Granger usaully chucks up his shots to get some points but lately Hansbrough has been dominating. Scoring in the 20s and grabbin all kinds of boards.

  • Hansbrough is beating up the Bulls like he beat up the Knicks.

  • What a joke. I hope we loose by 30.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Do you really hope we lose by 30? That seems like a stupid thing to hope for

  • Bogans killing the Bulls in the 2nd half.

  • Keith Bogans just caused about a 7 point swing for the pacers in about a minute completely killing the Bulls attempt to come back.

    It was disgusting, two completely terrible unforced turnovers, followed by a foul for jamming hibbert in the back after the shot was released. Shot went down then the Pacers got a FT and the ball back.

    Simply ridiculous.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The Washington game was a mirage. The problem with Bogans more than his turnovers is his shooting. He gets the most open shots than anybody with the Bulls. I think everybody forgot about him because the Bulls were winning and if they struggle, he will be back in the limelight.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    That 4th quarter comeback was unbelievable. Derrick Rose is MVP.
    Now on to overtime.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I hope I eat crow.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Just amazing comeback.

    This has been the worst reffed game I remember this year, and it's not really one sided, but it's just horrible call after horrible call going in either direction. I'm not sure if it balanced or not because I haven't added them up, but it was awful.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    DERRICK ROSE = MMMVVVVVVVVPPPPPPPPPP
    IF HE ISN'T MVP THIS YEAR, I STOP WATCHING THE NBA !!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wow

    That 4th qtr should definitely cement his MVP status

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Let's see if the Bulls can finish the deal. Feel good for Rose for knocking down the three free throws, nice redemption for Clippers game.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls look disjointed on offense, they let Rose rune very offensive possession for around the last 4-5 minutes, and now no one else looks comfortable shooting, they're all tentative.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Kyle why won't you shoot?

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Agree...This is crazy. I just don't understand why can't he shoot and sometimes maybe get a 2 point jump-shot rather than just running around the 3pt line.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Eh you can't win them all. Second night of a back to back, Noah probably still feeling the effects of the flu, Boozer out, just a tough ask to be up for it.

    Still if they'd hit better than 6-27 from three they win the game. It is a bit of a worry that Rose has 7 games with 7 or more three point attempts this year but 4 of them have come in the last 5 games. If Boozer getting back means Rose dumps the ball to him rather than throws up a three when he needs a rest then Boozer better get back soon.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    absence makes the heart grow stronger...

    i didn't know i would miss boozer this much either.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Problem, too, is that Korver was wide open late a few times and stood there waiting for the ball...he can't shoot if they don't get him the ball. rose with 42 is great, but this game was a stinker. Indiana was motivated, we were tired-looking and not at full strength. Still, if we should meet Indy in the play-offs I think we kill 'em over the long haul.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Hopefully Thibs understands that giving his guys some rest in blowouts will help them in a back-to-back game. The Bulls did not have the energy to get the tough rebounds in the 1st half..

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Boston down by 20 to Houston with 9 minutes left in 3rd quarter.
    Hopefully Houston can win this game to stay even with Bulls in loss column.

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