NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, November 6th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Bulls (1-2) at Indiana Pacers (4-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers will try to go 5-0 on Wednesday night
when they host the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in an early-season
battle of Central Division foes.
The Pacers got their fourth straight win to start this season on Tuesday when
they bested another Central Division rival, the Detroit Pistons, 99-91 at The
Palace of Auburn Hills.
Indiana was led by the sensational play of All-Star Paul George. He finished
with 31 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
"Paul George did everything I asked him to do and everything you can possibly
ask a player to do tonight," gushed head coach Frank Vogel. "(He) played the
point and guarded point guards. He guarded elite small forwards or Josh Smith,
who is really a power forward, and guarded him all night."
George had 14 points in the fourth quarter alone. This was George's fourth
consecutive game with at least 21 points, his second this season with 30-plus
points and his second straight double-double.
"I want this moment and I'm not going to shy away from it," said George.
C.J. Watson, who filled in for injured starting guard George Hill (hip), David
West and Lance Stephenson all scored in double figures.
Indiana shot a season-high 52.1 percent from the field and held the Pistons to
The Bulls have struggled in this early season, highlighted by a road loss to
the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night. Chicago fell 107-104 and it's certainly
no time for panic, but the Bulls have looked shoddy.
"You've got to change it. You've got to put the work into changing it. Your
mindset has to change," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. "I want to get away
from the notion that, 'We'll be OK. We'll be OK. We've got a lot of time.'
That's not the mentality that you have to have if you want to be a good team."
The starting Bulls forwards of Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer were solid against
Philly. The pair combined for 42 points, 17 rebounds and six assists. Joakim
Noah chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.
Then there's the Derrick Rose issue. After he missed all of last season
recovering from a torn ACL, Rose has only averaged 14.3 ppg while shooting
28.8 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from long range.
"It's only three games; everybody is looking at it like it's 30 games because
of the expectations of this year," said Rose. "I think that we're going to be
fine but we've just got to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball."
The Pacers won three of four meetings between the two teams last season and is
6-3 in their last nine at home versus the Bulls.
11/06 10:18:08 ET