Saturday, November 16th, 2013 at 8:00 PM ET at United Center

Game Preview: Pacers at Bulls

Scott Agness | November 14, 2013

Matchup

The Pacers are back on the road to conclude their fourth set back-to-back games of the 2013-14 campaign Saturday evening in the Windy City. Just 10 days after their first meeting in Indianapolis – a 97-80 Pacers win – the division foes meet for the second time this season. Then, they don’t see face one another until mid-March, when they play two times in four days (Mar. 21 and 24).

Off to a blazing start, the Pacers continue their efforts to pile up the wins as they’re after the No. 1 seed in the East. Before the season, Lance Stephenson challenged the team to start the year 10-0, but recently said he may have to raise it to 15. Now 9-0, every Pacers’ win from here on out will set a new NBA franchise record for wins to start a season.

Like the Pacers, the Bulls (4-3) will be playing for the second time in as many nights. They lost three of their first four games to start the season but they have been victorious in their past three games after facing a few lower-end opponents, including a 96-80 win Friday night in Toronto. Derrick Rose is back this season after sitting out all of last year while coming back from an ACL tear, but his status for Saturday’s game is questionable. He hasn’t practiced all week and sat out on Friday after he sustained a hamstring injury on Monday.

Per usual, the Bulls are a defensive-minded team under head coach Tom Thibodeau. They are third in the league in opponents’ points per game and second in field goal percentage defense. The Pacers stand alone atop both lists.

The Pacers are expecting a physical game, particularly with the way the Pacers have been playing. The Bulls ended Miami’s 27-game win streak last regular season and they’re definitely gunning to slow the Pacers, a team playing on a mission since the season opened.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

Luol Deng

Luol Deng

Carlos_Boozer

Carlos Boozer

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out, strained left calf), George Hill (day-to-day, sore left hip)
Bulls: Derrick Rose (day-to-day, sore right hamstring)

Quotable

“Honestly, it’s about the next game. Every game could be the difference between home-court advantage and not having home-court advantage. Whether we’re playing a team with a losing record on the road tomorrow or a great time like Chicago, it doesn’t really matter. We’re on a mission and we’re trying to put ourselves in the best position possible come playoff time to make the kind of run that we want to make.” – Frank Vogel

“We’re just taking it one game at a time. We’re not worried about the streak. It’s much bigger than keeping the streak [alive]. It’s about us continuing to play well and winning games.” – Paul George

“It’s always going to be physical. We’re going to have to grind it out. Chicago’s a great team and they have like four All-Stars on the team and it’s a type of game that’s going to be aggressive and come down to the wire. It’s going to be fun.” – Roy Hibbert

“I think this is going to be one of the toughest games. We’re in Chicago and we did excellent against them last game but I think we were celebrating too much and I don’t think they liked that so I think they’re definitely going to bring it.” – Lance Stephenson

“Without [Derrick] Rose, they’re still good. They got one of the best defenses in the league and they play together as a unit so we got to be focused and be mentally ready for this game.” – Stephenson.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won four of the last five meetings with Chicago.
  • Over the summer, the Bulls signed former Pacers guard Mike Dunleavy and drafted Tony Snell and Erik Murphy.
  • The Bulls have led the league in attendance in each of the last four seasons and sold out their previous 130 games, dating back to April 2010.

Last Meeting

Nov. 6: The Pacers were in a six-point hole at the half but then dominated the second half, outscoring the Bulls 60-37 in a 17-point victory showcased nationally on ESPN. After struggling early, Lance Stephenson “stayed with it,” as Vogel advised, and scored all 15 of his points in the second half.

Paul George led the way with 21 and David West handled Carlos Boozer, scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The Pacers doubled up the Bulls in points registered in the paint, 28-14, and limited Chicago's fast break points to just four. Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each scored 17 points for the visiting Bulls.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (host)

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