Bulls vs Pacers 7pm on WGN

Bulls vs Pacers 7pm on WGN

The Chicago Bulls crossed one revenge game off their last last night when they defeated the 76ers in Philadelphia, can they cross off a second by beating the Pacers in Chicago tonight? The Pacers have won their past six games after dropping five straight before that. Chicago is also riding a six game win streak. Whose streak comes to an end?

When the Pacers last beat the Bulls there was some note of the Pacers over-celebrating and annoying Derrick Rose. Sounds like Derrick is using perceived slights to motivate him similar to Jordan. Granted, until he wins a championship he doesn't need perceived slights, just the trophy.

In an amusing series of comments yesterday, Joakim Noah noted that Roy Hibbert couldn't out celebrate him if he tried and that whatever the Pacers did was nothing compared to the level of celebration Noah's capable of. Who doesn't buy into that?

Another set of athletic trapping wings

The Indiana Pacers share many similarities with the 76ers. They're a team with plenty of perimeter athleticism that they'll use to try and trap Derrick Rose and force him to give up the ball. However, unlike the 76ers, the Pacers have a bit plenty of size and talent in the front court.

David West, Roy Hibbert, and Tyler Hansbrough make up a tough and physical front court that can beat up on players on the interior and get a bit more scoring done. However, they're a bit more limited in how much they can switch relative to the 76ers who could throw Thaddeus Young on a guard off a switch while he was playing PF.

Expect Paul George to get plenty of duty in the trap on Derrick Rose along with Danny Granger to help out Darren Collison.

Improve on the fundamentals

The Bulls beat the 76ers despite losing the rebounding battle, foul battle, and turnover battle last night. They have the talent to take out teams while struggling with some of those fundamentals, but they aren't likely to win multiple games in a row under such circumstances.

Chicago shot lights out from the three point line while Philly couldn't throw the ball in the ocean. Unless Chicago expects something similar against Indiana they'll need to do a better job on the glass and with ball control. They should also come in with a better plan on how to deal with the trap which will most assuredly be coming.

The Pacers are effectively the Hinrich/Gordon/Deng era Bulls. They win based on effort, toughness, and defense, but they don't really have the goto scorer or superstar player to put them over the top. Chicago needs to make sure they don't fall into the trap of playing with less energy or else the Pacers will take this game from them.

Who knocks down the open jumpers?

Indiana has crowded the paint something fierce against Chicago in their recent games, and I expect more of the same tonight. As such, who can step up and knock down their open jumpers? Rose will draw plenty of defensive attention, but the game might be on the rest of the cast to hit their shots and make Indy pay for playing four guys around the rim or trapping too hard.

Rose has been a tear lately, and if Indy doesn't overplay him, he'll likely shred the heck out of the Pacers like he has everyone else recently. Derrick's back to playing at an MVP level, so just other guys knocking down open jumpers makes the offense very difficult to stop.

How does a Jo/Roy battle shake out?

Jo struggles to defend some of the bigger centers in the league, that said I think he can use his quickness to pester Hibbert more so than some of the other banger types that bother him. However, he'll likely struggle to get his jump hook off against Roy in the paint, so I look for Noah to get most of his points in an offensive rebounding/leak out type roll.

He'll also get plenty of chances to test out the tornado if he wants to shoot jumpers. If Noah can knock down a couple of 15 footers early it will really help loosen up the Indy defense.

West and Boozer, two of a kind?

David West reminds me of a Carlos Boozer type. He's a guy who has plenty of skills to finish shots but relies on his PG to get him his looks more so than creating them himself. He's undersized, not so explosive athletically, but can still put up some numbers if he's not defended well.

I haven't studied West enough to know if he's a poor defender, but I expect that the two guys should nullify each other for the most part.

Another win?

Indy has played the Bulls very tough dating back to last season. They're well coached, and they have enough perimeter athleticism to harass Derrick. Chicago should win, but they'd better come ready to play, because a half assed effort won't get it done.


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  • Derrick is in a real MVP momentum building groove right now IMO. If the Bulls can find a way not to submit to Indiana packing the paint, and attack the basket effectively, then I think Derrick explodes again. However, the Pacers have been very effective at stimying the Bulls offense at times that I'm not certain they won't do it again.

    While I continue to disagree with the Noah's offense surfacing means jumpers along with Taj, I respect the underlying notion that these guys need to contribute offensively. But for me it is scoring in the post, and attacking and driving from the mid post or lane. Also, where the heck are the lobs?

    Anyway, I hope RIP can have a big game, and the Bulls find a way to get some weak side attacks to the hoop. Again, In most cases when a team packs the paint, the only way you usually win is if you fight through it, and a find a way to attack the basket not less but more. In other words not get punked out of the paint. Especially on your home court. Indy did enough of that to us in the playoffs last year.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    what's with the bold face print? I AM Self Important!(ha, ha). Seriously though, I just saw the Pacers rated No. 5 in the NBA. I thought they had hit the skids, but they're 23-12, not bad.

  • I want to ask this before the results of the game.

    As a Bulls fan would you trade Deng for Paul George. I am certain that Indy would not, I would in a nano second.

    I have liked George from my first glimpses of him last season, he really looks like he could be the second coming of Scottie Pippen. The only thing that he is missing, is competing against Jordan everyday of his professional career. That alone may stop him from becoming as good as Pippen, but I would take my chances.

    We would likely suffer some this season, but by next year or the year after we might have that complimentary star for the rest of Rose's career.

    If Indy was interested I might expand the trade to include Granger and Boozer, with the Bulls throwing in a #1 pick or 2, not Charlottes or Mirotic, but ours.

    I bet that Bulls fans join Larry Bird and say no.

    P.S. as much as I hate to say it, Mappy was the first person that I know of who was on the pre draft Paul George band wagon, then again throw enough shit against the wall, and something is bound to stick.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You have to do it, only 21, two years remaining on his rookie contract, seems like a more natural 3 point shooter than Deng so probably a better fit on offense in the long run. Defensively he's not Deng yet but there's no reason why he can't get better there.

    I don't see him as a complimentary star as such, but he's a cheaper, younger Luol Deng that maybe has a better skill set for this team.

    Indiana say no for the same reasons that I'd say yes though.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    If you remove salary from the equation I would not. The Bulls need Deng's offense mroe than George's defense. That said, George is pretty awesome defensviely and has his moments offensively.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I believe that just like Pippen did, George will become a much better offensive player than Deng is now by his 3rd or 4rth year in the league. In fact, given his age, George is already ahead of Pippen developmentally.

    Like I said, it might cost us this year, but I don't think we can beat Miami anyway, so we need to look to get better next year and beyond. For me George for Deng does that, even without the salary part of the equation.

    Obviously, there is room for debate, but I am looking to win multiple championships with Rose, not being happy to be the 90's Knicks, or Pacers, or Cav's, or Jazz for that matter.

    My every thought is about finding a way to beat the Heat now and for as long as they have Lebron.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    All other factors removed, I would do it this offseason. However, I cant bear myself to substract Deng while Boozer is still the starting PF for this team. It seems like too big of a gamble, especially if George takes another 2-3 years to develop offensive consistency.

    But then again... none of this matters because Indiana is not going to trade away the kid.

  • Indiana sure seems to bring the extreme escort service out of the Mataboozer.

    How can anyone not hate the guy as a basketball player when you actually watch him on D. You just don't get or care about the game if watching him doesn't inspire hate(basketball wise).

    Just go back and watch what he did on the foul line jumper by David West and then on the following possession on the drive by Granger(or was it George) against Korver. Even the Indy announcers commented on the lack of help, just pure escort service by the Mataboozer.

  • I'm sorry Boozer supporters but he is pathetic!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I don't think Boozer supporters even exist. It's just a matter of the degree to which people can stomach their distaste of him.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    While I agree with your sentiment entirely, I am certain that the first/next time that the Mataboozer puts up a 20/10 somebody will crawl out of the woodworks and tell us how great he is, especially how much better his defense is.

  • Low post presence, my ass.

  • Good win bulls. They gave pacers a basketball lesson. However Rip seems to be a very bad investment.

  • "However Rip seems to be a very bad investment."

    As an 'investment' I could give two shits about Rip's performance and health in the regular season. His acquisition was solely to better this teams postseason odds. So until the games start to matter, he gets a pass.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Even if you regard the regular season as meaningless, surely the fact that he can't get healthy enough to stay on the court has to diminish your confidence that he'll be able to play productively in the playoffs.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    He has to establish himself before the playoffs.

    If this turns out to be a separated shoulder or something worse he won't be able to do so, and counting on him in the playoffs becomes a crap shoot if not a pipe dream.

    Apparently, Ray Allen he is not.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Rip aka " mr glass" what a joke he needs to retire if he can't take a hard screen

  • In reply to Chionechingon:

    Hamilton is a joke that wasn't even a hard hit. Just pathetic.

  • In reply to Chionechingon:

    ...because no one has ever had a freak injury before.

  • my 2 favorite stats of the night,

    Rebounds, Bulls 60, Indy 32, that is awesome.

    Minutes, for the Mataboozer, 22, could we be looking at the beginning of the Carlos Bogans era.

  • I am personally proud the way the Bulls adjusted to the ingame adversity what with CJ Watson unavailable,then ,with Rip going down again. The officiating pissed me off as well ..How the hell does George Hill get away with that bs legwhip action ala Reggie Miller and get people whistled? Tyler Hansbrough gets to slap the Bulls around in Chicago and David West dribbling ,slapping with the off hand. Im not complaining about physical, we just dont flop like the Spurs,Heat, or Pacers. thats not who are.

    We dont seem to get a fair shake when it comes to whistles. I remember during the ECF grinding teeth and cursing in at least 3 different languages for the disparity in calls going against us. Its ony going to get mre amped with playoffs nearing as well. I know im rambling but am I the ONLY one who sees this frustration thinking our clean reputation will bite us in the ass later??

  • If I'm the Bulls I would seriously consider moving Asik, Korver or Watson maybe for Courtney Lee or someone of that elk. We can't rely on Rip and really those players minutes are going to shrink come playoff time. I'd hate to see Asik go but he really hasn't improved from last season. His defense will be missed but they need another scoring option.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    Absolutely correct. Bulls management has to know this, too, and I believe they will do something by March 15th. Maybe they could get Mayo from Memphis - the Grizz will lose him anyway if they don't trade him.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    I believe that you meant ilk, but I would have to consider trading the Mataboozer for an elk, stuffed or otherwise.

  • We all saw the disparity by the refs in the ECF. Remember the flop by LeBron and he even walked back the court laughing at the officials who bought his act? He should not have gotten another borderline call the rest of the series! Refs should have enough pride/ingtegrity to be pros on the court. It is a problem in the NBA, from Stern on down. Rose was getting mugged, no call, and Bulls were hit with touch fouls on the other end. No wonder some think it's all rigged.

    Of course, some think it was rigged for the Bulls to get Rose in the draft. Or the Lakers getting Gasol for nada. Or Stern nixing the Laker trade for Chris Paul. Or even the $3 million increase in salary for only one player - Rose, affecting the Bulls' cap space. Not many teams are going to feel for the Bulls or Lakers, tho.

    Want another trade that will never happen but has some logic to it? Rose and Boozer to the Nets for Deron Williams and Brook Lopez; then Lopez and Deng and the Charlotte pick to the Magic for Dwight Howard. Then Deron and Howard are together, so they sign their extensions, and the Bulls have 2 superstars, plus Noah and the usual bench.

    The Magic and Nets might have to consider something similar if they don't want their stars to walk for nothing. But the Bulls could not do it for political reasons. (And I can't get shot through the internet for mentioning it!)

  • In reply to rustyw:

    at first blush it almost doesn't sound insane, but in the end, Chicago is neither Brooklyn or Dallas.

    It almost begs the question, would you trade Rose for Howard straight up, virtually all of Chicago says no, and only those NBA experts who drafted Oden over Durant say yes.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    If you told them Oden would only play 82 games in his entire career then I'm sure they'd be less bullish about Oden. It's not a lack of talent that makes Oden a bust.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    True although I would take Durant in a second over a healthy Oden and his 12-14 pts and 10-12 rbnds with 2+ blks a game.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    In my humble opinion, Durant was the obvious predraft choice over Oden, just like Rose was over Beasely, but what do I know, I am just a regular old Bulls fan, not a seasoned NBA talent evaluator.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I would certainly agree, no Rose for Howard trade. However, if you consider them both top 5 players, as I would, then basically the Bulls would get Deron for Booz and Deng. The Bulls would then have the best backcourt in the history of the sport! (But only because Pippen was a SF and not a PG).

    And there is the issue of loyalty, Rose is a Chicago kid. So it won't happen. But if it did, the Bulls would be better.

    I knew that Portland was nuts for taking Oden over Durant, BTW. I don't see how a real expert makes that choice, but I guess that is why GMs get paid the big bucks.

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