Chicago Bulls Defeat Indiana Pacers in Pre-Season Opener 95-86


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Chicago defeats the Pacers after a sluggish start on Friday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Derrick Rose and Luol Deng led the way with 16 points each. Rip Hamilton did not end up playing in this one and Ronnie Brewer got the starting nod.

This was a very encouraging game for Bulls fans. The Bulls seem to be the same determined, hard working group from last season. Down by as many as 13 in the first quarter, they methodically applied defensive pressure in the 2nd quarter, holding the Pacers to 2 of 23 or 8% shooting.

Game Notes:

  • This pre-season game was really played seriously by both sides and had a regular season feel to it.
  • Turnovers were high on both sides, but the Bulls had an uncharacteristically high amount at 24.
  • Derrick had only one successful drive at the start of the third quarter, drawing a foul on Hibbert and completing an “and 1” play.
  • Hansbrough, AGAIN easily drew fouls on Carlos Boozer and worked hard by staying on the FT line or hitting his 15 foot shot.
  • C.J. Watson was very strong and kept the Bulls in the game in the first quarter when Rose had to sit after drawing two early fouls. He ended up with 15 points including 3-3 from beyond the arc.
  • Jimmy Butler had a strong NBA debut! 3-3 ending up with 8 pts. He wasn’t scared, played great defense in the post against Dahntay Jones, and hit his shots with fluidity… One at the top of the key, another coming off a curl (assist by Rose) and another drive in the lane, deftly avoiding the charging foul that Foster was trying to draw. I hope Thibs gets him some time in the rotation because he is a great player. Hard hat, lunch pail type, like Stacey King likes to say!
  • Boozer continues to be ineffective at the rim. Thibs was even quoted after the game saying that Boozer missed “bunnies” that he should have made. I don’t know whats going on with his timing, but he must work on that. His work in the post and at the rim is the key to us getting to the big dance and I’m worried.
  • Brewer did a decent job starting and it will be interesting to see if Rip comes off the bench or if he gets the starting nod once the season begins.

Sideline Skinny:

  • Great to see Rip on the bench in his HEADBAND, geez what was that rule all about anyway?
  • Brian Shaw as assistant coach for the Pacers… I should have known he would leave the Lakers organization after the Mike Brown snub, but I didn’t know he was coming to the Pacers… Good to see him.
  • John Lucas… I guess he made the cut. I know that both Jannero Pargo and Keith Bogans were officially waived.

The next (and last) pre-season game is scheduled for Tuesday, December 20th at the United Center.


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