GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER:
Indiana (5-7, 2-5 on the road) at Bulls: ( 2-7, 1-4 at home) 7PM.
TV: NBC Sports Chicago : Neil Funk and Stacey King 7PM tipoff.
RADIO: WLS 890AM : Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington
LAST GAME: Toronto 119 Bulls 114. Detroit 114 Indiana 97.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 15points. Pacers: Oladipo: 22points.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 8 per. Pacers: Sabonis: 10 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Grant: 6per per. Pacers: Collison: 6 per.
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Pacers have lost four straight after following their latest loss on Wednesday at Detroit, players and coaches held a team meeting. Here’s my take on team meetings. Communications at any level is always good and necessary. It’s healthy to express oneself as long as it’s done in a sincere, mature manner. The truth however is, it’s a results oriented business. If the meeting gets everyone on the same page....fantastic ! If not, then you go to “Plan B “. That is whatever Plan B is. LOL. Victor Oladipo is out of the shadow of Russell Westbrook and has increased his scoring by six points per game to a team high 22 per game. I’ve always been a fan of Domantas Sabonis and it’s unclear whether he’ll be good to go after missing the last two games with a calf injury. Myles Turner is a candidate for Most Improved Player if he can stay healthy. Thaddeus Young is a player than has hurt the Bulls throughout his career in Philadelphia , Minnesota, Brooklyn and going into year two in Indiana.
The Bulls need to take advantage of an Indiana ball club that’s allowing 115 points over the past four games.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM: Play for 48 minutes. The Bulls can ill afford to have lapses of poor execution and focus. An eight point deficit can turned in to fifteen down in a matter of moments. That’s what happened in Toronto. Kris Dunn says the Bulls need to compete - “We need to play hard and compete every play and try to battle. If you play with energy, good things come your way.”
UP NEXT: Bulls at Spurs, Saturday 7:30PM.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
NBA fans received a double treat last night as LeBron James and the Cavs went up against James Harden and the two didn’t disappoint a national television audience. Harden with a massive triple of double of 35-11-13–
James with 33 , Rockets by 4 over the Cavs. The Rockets went to the line 36 times. Cavs, 14.
Another great looking rookie on the scene in Sacramento as D’Aaron Fox hit a shot with 13 seconds left..Kings cooled off the 76ers snapping Philadelphia’s 5 game win streak.
The Nuggets are playing well... OKC are not. Denver gets the W... Thunder now 4-7.
A wild one north of the border as the Raps edged Nola 122-118.
John Wall was John Wall... Lonzo flirted with a triple -double... Wiz toppled the Lakers.
It’s well documented the Knicks have struggled over the past number of seasons but no one can deny the gifted Knicks stars that have played ball at MSG. How about this stat....Kristaps Porzingis is the first player in franchise history to score 300 points in his first 10 games of a season.
Detroit’s Andre Drummond is just the third player over the last 40 years to grab 12 or more rebounds in each of his first 11 games of a season.He joins Moses Malone and Kevin Love.
The Celtics announced rookie Sensation Jayson Tatum’s MRI results on his sore right ankle came back negative. He is questionable for tonight’s game against the Hornets.
Vince Carter missed last night’s Kings-76ers game with kidney stones.
Patrick Beverley of the Clippers ( Marshall High School- Chicago) will miss the next two games with a sore right knee.
Thanks for reading CCI. E mail me. Cswirsky@bulls.com. Twitter: @ctsbulls
Always a pleasure.