Indiana Pacers Status Check:
Road Record: 13-28
Last 10 Games: 5-5
Streak: Lost 2
Last game: Lost 92-74 to Orlando
PPG: 99.8 (13th)
Opponents PPG: 100.9 (17th)
Offensive Rating: 104.8 (23rd)
Defensive Rating: 106.0 (12th)
Pace: 94.7 (6th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .486 (23rd)
Turnover Percentage: .141 (24th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage:
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .259 (17th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .235 (9th)
Opp. eFG%: .487 (7th)
Opp. TO%: .126(22nd)
Opp. FT/FGA: .237 (22nd)
Leading scorer: Danny Granger (20.5)
Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.
Indiana Injury Report:
Chicago won 3-1
Game 1: Chicago won 92-73 (Boozer: 22 points, 18 rebounds)
Game 2: Chicago won 99-86 (Rose: 29 points, 10 rebounds)
Game 3: Chicago won 110-89 (Boozer: 24 points, 10 rebounds)
Game 4: Indiana won 115-108 in OT (Hansbrough: 29 points; Rose 42 points)
Everyone is tied when the playoffs start, as far as wins and losses; but this Bulls-Pacers match-up might be the most lopsided of the postseason. Indiana was the last team in, while the Bulls had the best record in the league. Chicago is coming into the playoffs hot, winning their last nine games (three of them against playoff teams) while Indiana backed in, losing their last two games (both to playoffs teams, at the Knicks and Magic).
But it’s not all bad news for the Pacers; Chicago’s lone division loss came at the hands of the Pacers. It was the most recent match-up that they won, topping Chicago 115-108 in overtime. In that game, Indy had a 117.6 offensive rating. It’s hard to believe the Bulls, and Thibodeau, will allow that to happen again. Especially since every Bulls player was given a phonebook-sized scouting report on the Pacers, according to Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.
The Bulls would only lose once more after that overtime loss to the Pacers (on 3/28 to Philly), and they would allow 100 or more points only once for the rest of the season (on 4/2 in a win against Toronto, who seemed to have the Bulls number somewhat).
Hopefully Carlos Boozer will read the scouting report, and perhaps learn to play some defense on Tyler Hansbrough. In the Pacers win over Chicago, Hansbrough scored 29 points on 12 of 19 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds. Boozer didn’t play that game (Kurt Thomas started for him) but someone is going to have to stop Psycho-T, who came on very strong at the end of the season. Joakim Noah can’t guard Roy Hibbert and Hansbrough.
Boozer should also be a big help on the offensive side of the ball. In Chicago’s loss, Rose scored 42, Deng scored 21 and Noah added 17. The other two starters scored three points combined (all by Kurt Thomas, so thanks for playing Mr. Bogans). In his three games against Indiana this season, Boozington averaged 20 points and 11.3 rebounds.
In his postseason career Boozer has averaged 20.3 points, 12.5 rebounds on 50.3 percent shooting. Rose has averaged 22.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.8 assists. But expect those numbers to jump, because all of Rose’s numbers have jumped this season.
Almost everyone has the Bulls already written into the next round in marker. But Chicago knows they have to take it one game at a time.
“It’s no different. For us, it’s no different,” said Rose. “We’re going to prepare the same way. We’re going to practice the same way. (Coach Tom Thibodeau) always said at the beginning of the season that we were practicing to prepare like it’s the end of the season.”
Now it really could be the end of the season at any time. It’s first to four from here on out, and this game one could be the start of something very fun. Possibly something that goes on for a long time, maybe until sometime in June, and that ends with a parade.
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.