Bulls-Pacers Preview

Indiana Pacers Status Check:
Record: 29-39
Division: 6-6
Conference: 20-21
Home Record: 18-15
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Streak: Lost 1
Last game: 82-90 loss to the Celtics
PPG: 99.4 (15th)
Opponents PPG: 100.8 (17th)
Offensive Rating: 104.3 (24th)
Defensive Rating: 105.8 (11th)
Pace: 94.8 (4th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .484 (22nd)
Turnover Percentage: .141 (24th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage:
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .258 (18th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .231 (10th)
Opp. eFG%: .484 (7th)
Opp. TO%: .125 (26th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .234 (17th)
Leading scorer: Danny Granger (20.6)

Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.

Indiana Injury Report:
Mike Dunleavy: broken thumb (out 6-8 weeks)

Overview:
In a possible first round playoff matchup, Chicago goes into Indiana looking for a season sweep of the Pacers.

As it stands, Indiana is in the last playoff spot in the East,trailing the seventh-place Sixers by six games. There is a slim chance the Pacers will move up a spot, but a better chance that they fall. The Bobcats are just half a game back. The Pacers are playing to keep their playoff spot.

The Bulls are fighting for the number one position. Just one win separates the Bulls and Boston for the top spot in the East.

The Nets helped the Bulls out by beating the Celtics in the game prior to playing the Bulls. The Pacers’ last game was against Boston, but they couldn’t help as much as Jersey did. C’mon Indy! Well, maybe they can make it up to the Bulls by losing tonight.

These two teams are in going in opposite directions. Chicago, as you know, is playing great, winning eight in a row.

But the Pacers are just 2-7 in their last 9 games, with both of those wins coming against the Knicks. In those games, Tyler Hansbrough set back-to-back career highs in points, scoring 29 and then 30. I thought he could only score that many in the ACC. But in March, Hansbrough has averaged 19.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in 32.4 minutes per game. He didn’t average more than 23.5 minutes per game in any other month. He is being rewarded with more minutes, and with the way he has played his last few games, the same can be expected against Chicago.

Indiana is going to need all the scorers they can put on the floor tonight. The Bulls held the Nets to 73 points, continuing their stifling defense. The Bulls have allowed more than 90 points only once since February 24 (100 points against the Jazz, but they still won by 18 points). That’s a 12-game stretch.

The Bulls defense has been great in the games against Indiana this season. In the first three games between the two teams, the Pacers failed to score 90 points even once (they averaged 82.7 points). The Bulls outscored the Pacers by more than 17 points in the three wins this year and held Indiana to just above 36% shooting.

Chicago is still a perfect 12-0 against divisional opponents this year. Can I hear 13?

About the Author:
Braedan Ritter was born and raised in Pennsylvania but was swayed by gifts from his aunt to follow the Chicago sports teams. It didn’t hurt that the Bulls had a guy named Michael Jordan playing for them, and the Sixers had…Derrick Coleman. Braedan has stuck with Chicago through thick and thin, and really thin (see: Chicago Cubs). And speaking of Coleman, Braedan is currently a student at Syracuse University.

9 Responses to Bulls-Pacers Preview

  1. kuwabarra@mail.ru'
    Mr Bull March 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Oh I can even hear 16…

  2. Ryan March 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Good post! I think Deng can keep the ‘Ghost of Granger’ in check as well. As long as the Bulls can be consistent with their D, we should be on our way to a W.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for Rockets to get another win on the Celtics – they beat them in Boston back in January. Even though we didn’t get Kevin Martin via trade, he can be a big help for our team tonight with Scola on the bench.

  3. cliniclysick March 18, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Please let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Mr Bull. I’ve also adopted Thibs’ philosophy: one game at a time…

    Psycho T will need to be taken care of, so let’s let Boozer heal for one more game. Jo, Big Sexy, Taji-Wu and Turkish Delight are gonna have to be big again tonight!

  4. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath March 19, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Five minutes plus – down by ten.

    I am sick, literally and figuratively.

    C’MON!

  5. Brian March 19, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    this is a team we should be blowing out…but, hansbrough has been nasty lately. we’re back in it, but we’ve still got to cut an 8-point deficit with 3 minutes to play. not good.

  6. Brian March 19, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    D. ROSE. even if we don’t win, he’s single-handedly making this game close. that, and taj gibson’s rebounding.

  7. cliniclysick March 19, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    Well, if there’s any silver lining about this loss, it’s DRose grabbing that MVP trophy with both hands and nobody’s gonna be able to take it from him anymore. But someone else is gonna have to help him score at the end (i.e. Boozer) cause that was ridiculous.

    And oh yeah, the Celts down by 25 after the third. Looks like we’ll be able to hang on to first, which is nice of of course.

    In the end, I’m not that disappointed. Can’t win ‘em all, it gives Thibs something to do the next few days and we didn’t lose anything in the standings. Now on to the next game!

  8. bodybagsteven@gmail.com'
    BFD March 19, 2011 at 4:20 am #

    Oh well…so much for division perfection.

  9. joe.sez@gmail.com'
    joe March 19, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    I’m sure this loss will help Coach focus the team. One game at a time.

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