Bulls completely fell apart in the 4th quarter… They battled back from a double digit deficit in the third quarter, trailed by one point entering the 4th, and managed a 2-pt. lead early… Then, the Pacers bench combo of: Scola, Stephenson and Sloan went to work… They scored a couple of threes and started a 12-2 run. Indiana would end up outscoring the Bulls 34-18 and ROUTED the Bulls 97-80. Boozer was taken out of his game early by Indiana’s length and shot blocking. Derrick looked good early, but wasn’t a difference maker late. Even though he had a late turnover that a lot of people mentioned, the game was out of hand and our shooters couldn’t make shots anyway. Definitely a lack of toughness on the Bulls part down the stretch.
At the 7:15 mark of the 4th quarter with the Bulls leading 69-67, the Pacers went on a 10-0 run with scoring from Luis Scola and Lance Stephenson forcing a Bulls timeout and Chicago would never again seriously challenge for the lead after that point.
P. George (IND) 21 PTS 6 REB 3 ASTS 0 STLS in 39 MINS (led all scorers)
Hard to single anyone out… The Bulls played hard, but just weren’t tough enough in this contest. Pacers were just better. Quicker to the ball, their role players made timely shots, etc. Rose only had two assists, but he was playing without the ball at the two for significant minutes. Jimmy Butler was decent, but he’s got to play more like a starter and not a backup. Coach Thibodeau has to realize the limitations of a Hinrich/Rose backcourt against the size and athleticism of Indiana. Everyone needed to do a better job here.
- Derrick was cleared to again wear the two strips of black Kunesia tape on his neck by the NBA (they had previously banned him from wearing it), but he chose not to.
- Indiana Pacers were very arrogant and trash talky (seems silly because honestly, without their chief antagonizers: Dahntay Jones, Josh McRoberts and Tyler Hansbrough who do we really have a problem with on Indy?) during the game and especially during their run.
- The Pacers remain the only unbeaten team in the NBA at 5-0
“…Their success is the Michael Jordan era. This is a new age, this is a new team. It’s ours until they take it.” – Pacers SF Paul George on stepping out of the shadow as the “little brothers” of the Central Division
“…A couple players on their team made big plays, great second-chance efforts with the rebounding and Lance, I think, played great for them tonight knocking down shots and just playing hard.” – Bulls G Derrick Rose on what changed the game
Tonight, the winless Utah Jazz visit the United Center (airing on CSN at 7PM CST). Let’s hope they do not get their breakthrough against us. They will have “…the more desperate team” mentality going for them and they are NOT a horrible team. I was surprised that contract talks broke down between the Jazz and Gordon Hayward, who I’d LOVE to have on the Bulls. He’s versatile, 6’8″, can shoot the ball over 45% and plays for 48 minutes.
Jazz have trouble manufacturing points just like the Bulls do and have a pretty porous defense so hopefully we can exploit them. They do like to rebound the basketball so this will be a nice test for our bigs.