Indiana controlled the pace of this game for the better part of three quarters. Even though they played the night before (and got DOG WALKED by Denver on their home floor) they came in with a game plan and worked it to perfection. The Bulls defense continually collapsed into the paint trying to contain Hibbert and Scola and the Pacers just torched us from the perimeter, at a high clip, all night long. Solomon Hill, A.J. Price and Luis Scola all had 21 pts. Copeland was 3-4 from three. Amazing shooting from Indiana and the Bulls couldn’t do anything about it.
Indiana seemed to answer the Bulls each time down the floor. Every time the Bulls got to within 2, within 3, Indiana would make a big play. Cuts to the basket, wide open jumpers, the Bulls just couldn’t seem to contain this team. Kirk coughed the ball up 3 times and missed too many shot in the 1st quarter. Imperative that we get off to a good start against this team and we couldn’t even lead after the 1st quarter. Jimmy played some great defense to close the 3rd but Indiana was a tough, tough team to shake. They are still committed to defense and rebounding even though they are depleted.
Bulls held Indiana scoreless for nearly a 4 minute stretch in the 4th quarter, but failed to get closer than 7 with 2:21 left. The Pacers ended up making a few more baskets and sealing the win from the FT line. The Pacers bench also dominated our bench early. Taj was effectively shut down, going 1-6. We needed a better game out of Taj.
J. Butler CHI (32pts 6rebs 1asts 2stls 1blk) 41min
T. Gibson CHI (2pts 6rebs 0asts 2stls 0blk) 25min
- Derrick missed his 5th game of the young season to continue to treat that mild hamstring pull suffered in the Toronto win.
- Jimmy Butler’s 32 pts was the first time a Bulls player scored 30 or more points since Deng did it 12/02/2013.
- The Indiana Pacers came to the United Center without three of their starters: David West (sprained ankle), George Hill (bruised knee) and Paul George (broken leg).
The Circus Trip… The Bulls are about to embark on a 2 week, 7 game road trip. Will be a great way for them to bond and hopefully get some wins. I’ve gone back and forth on my prediction for this trip, but I’m going to settle on 4-3. I’d LOVE to see them go 5-2 and I will be happy to be wrong about this one.
Clippers, Jazz, Celtics and Nets
Kings, Trailblazers, Nuggets
I’ll be doing a preview later. Hope Rose can go. Good luck Bulls, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of fans in (some of) the arenas! #SeeRed