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 37.9 percent.
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