David West PF; ankle, out
George Hill PG; knee, out
C.J. Miles SF; calf, out
Rodney Stuckey SG; foot, out
C.J. Watson PG; foot, out
Derrick Rose PG; hamstring, out
The Indiana Pacers will face their toughest test yet; the Chicago Bulls. Each team with injuries to their best players, it will be a small fraction of the competition we would normally see.
The Chicago Bulls sit near the top of the Eastern Conference at 7-2, while the Pacer sit near the bottom at 3-7. Given the circumstances on each team; these records make sense. The Pacers are riddled with injuries left and right, and the Bulls have got an easy road to the playoffs, with a bad eastern conference.
The match up that always is the center of attention in this rivalry is the big men; Joakim Noah Vs. Roy Hibbert. Both being possibly, the 2 best post defenders in the league; it will make for a defensive battle you’ve got to see. Whoever can win this matchup in the rebounding category, will most likely win this game.
I expect things to be low scoring, given the defensive mindedness of Frank Vogel and Tom Thibedou. A score similar to that of the Pacers most recent victory over the Heat 81-75. The Bulls are 12th i the league in points allowed, which isn’t great, but should suffice against a offensively struggling Pacers team. Indiana is 19th in points scored per game at 91.2. This due to injuries and also the lack of 3 point shot attempts.
If the Pacers want to come out of Chicago with a win they’ll need 2 things; a 20-10 game form Roy Hibbert and 3 point shooting.
The Pacers have a large amount of 3 point shooters on this team, but they haven’t taken advantage of it. They’re not getting enough 3 point shots up, although the struggles of Damo Rudez and Chris Copeland doesn’t help. If the Pacers can catch fire from 3, they’ve got a shot against a solid Bulls team.
I predict a Bulls victory tonight. With the Pacers coming off a embarrassing loss, they’ll fight for a win; but Chicago is just flat out a better and healthier team. Solomon Hill Vs. Jimmy Butler will be an interesting match up, because they play in very similar ways; defensive mindedly and aggressively.
The Pacers and Bulls will face off tonight at 8:00. It will be a rough matchup, and a battle of the central division.