Preview: Bulls at Pacers
Send a link to a friend
[March 21, 2014]
(SportsDirect Inc.) — The Indiana Pacers look to wipe away the memory of a disappointing loss
when they host the Chicago Bulls on Friday in a battle of two of the
league's top defensive teams. The Pacers, who lead the Eastern
Conference by three games over Miami, saw their four-game winning streak
end in a 92-86 loss at New York on Wednesday while recording only two
assists in the first half. The Bulls have won three of their last four
and stand two games ahead of Brooklyn for fourth in the East.
Indiana has been up and down the last five weeks, going 11-8
since coughing up a lead at Orlando on Feb. 9, and the Pacers know
things have to change soon. "Just not playing team ball," Pacers
forward David West told the Indianapolis Star. "There's no other way
to slice it." Indiana is still tops in the league in scoring defense
(92.2) and Chicago is a close second (92.3).
TV: 7 p.m. ET, WGN America, FSN Indiana
ABOUT THE BULLS (38-30): Chicago stands last in the league in
scoring (93.4), but the Bulls have done it with balance all season
long after the injury to Derrick Rose and the trade of Luol Deng.
Carlos Boozer leads the team in scoring (14 per game) and averages
8.5 rebounds while Taj Gibson is next at 13.3 points, more than five
better than last season. Center Joakim Noah has been a key
throughout, averaging 12.3 points to go along with team bests of
11.3 rebounds, five assists and 1.5 blocks.
ABOUT THE PACERS (50-18): All the victories during their most recent
four-game winning streak were against under-.500 teams — two versus
Philadelphia — so Indiana wasn't rolling before New York. The Pacers
just need to move the ball better and continue to lean on consistent
Paul George, who averages 22.2 points and has scored at least 24 in
four of the last six. Lance Stephenson (14.2) and West (14) will
also be depended on offensively as the Pacers try to improve on
their league-best home record of 31-4.
[to top of second column]
Chicago G Mike Dunleavy has averaged 15.8 points and drained
10-of-21 from 3-point range the last four games.
George has drained 126-of-134 free throws since the beginning of
February and is sixth in the league at 87.6 percent.
The Bulls are 26-2 this season when they score at least 96 points
in a game.
PREDICTION: Pacers 100, Bulls 92
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.