Countdown to Tipoff: Pacers at Chicago, Game 2



FAN BLOG TV COMPANION PACERS NOTES BULLS NOTES

By Conrad Brunner, Pacers.com

SCOUTING THE PACERS: Hidden by the frustration of the Game 1 defeat was that so many postseason rookies performed remarkably well, which should offer encouragement as the Pacers move forward. Tyler Hansbrough scored 22 in his first playoff game and has averaged 21 points on 55 percent shooting in three games against the Bulls this season. Darren Collison had 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Roy Hibbert had 11 points and eight boards. The Pacers did not get the usual lift from the second unit, which totaled a modest 23 points. They must also shore up the defensive glass. Chicago had 21 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second-chance points, a number equally as decisive as the free throw disparity -- the Bulls outscored the Pacers 26-11 from the stripe. Indiana's record in playoff series after dropping the opener is 1-14.

SCOUTING THE BULLS: Beyond Derrick Rose, whose 39 points carried the team in the opener, the Bulls were generally dissatisfied with their performance in the opener. They shot just 44 percent, No. 2 option Carlos Boozer had little impact on the game (12 points, six rebounds, five fouls, four turnovers) and Kyle Korver (13 points) was the only reserve to have an impact, aside from Kurt Thomas' elbow that briefly knocked Hansbrough out of Game 1. But Luol Deng and Joakim Noah were unsung for their performance, totaling 28 points and 21 boards and troubled the Pacers throughout the game with their activity. Chicago must also find a way to adjust its defense to deny the constant open looks Hansbrough has been getting in the pick-and-pop, where his mid-range game has proven deadly.

KEY MATCHUP: Finding a way to defend Rose without fouling is Indiana's greatest challenge. Chicago's star guard has attempted 42 free throws in the last two meetings, 21 in each, scoring 37 of his 81 points from the line. Secondary will be extending Hibbert's impact beyond the first quarter. He had eight points in the first 6½ minutes to get the Pacers off to a confidence-building start but attempted just two shots the rest of the night.

QUOTE MARKS: "I'm telling you this right now: the next couple of games are going to be exactly like that. We're not letting down. We're going to shock some people. There is no way they're going to sweep us. We're going to go out there and we're going to beat them." -- Hibbert

INJURY REPORT: Both teams are healthy.

BROADCAST INFO: The game will be telecast at 9:30 p.m. on TNT The radio broadcast is anchored by the flagship of the Pacers' network, WIBC 93 FM, featuring Mark Boyle and Austin Croshere with Kevin Lee reporting.

INTERACT: You can chat live with fans around the country in our live game blog which begins at tipoff.



Playoff tickets for the NBA First Round match-up between the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls are available by clicking here. The 2011 Pacers Playoffs are proudly presented by Indiana University Health, Kroger, Stanley Security Solutions and XFINITY®.