Keys To The Game vs. Pacers (11.22.21)

Remind Me Later

Body

The Bulls slid into the top spot in the Eastern Conference on Sunday evening, with another total team effort in their win over the New York Knicks.

DeMar DeRozan collected 31 points and Coby White added 14 points off the bench in a bounce back performance. The 12-5 Bulls look to keep the momentum going with a home matchup against the Pacers, who have been struggling on the road coming into Monday night.

An Active Tony Bradley

Bradley has been great for Chicago, averaging 9.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per 36 minutes. His rim protection and willingness to set effective screens has kept the Bulls offense and defense humming along in the absence of All-Star Nikola Vucevic.

On Monday night Bradley will potentially have his hands full with two solid big men, as the Pacers are one of the few teams still running a traditional two-big setup with Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, both standing at 6-foot-11.

Bradley has been great at making simple plays and avoiding cheap fouls, Monday will be perhaps his most important game in terms of smart defense, as the Bulls need his size in this matchup.

Tony Bradley

Push The Pace

Indiana's traditional two-big starting lineup gives them an immense advantage in terms of rim protection and rebounding, but it weakens them quite a bit in terms of overall speed and ability to switch on defense.

Chicago, especially under Billy Donovan, has been excellent at tossing out three-guard lineups that overwhelm teams. Coby White, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu and others can cause big problems for an Indiana squad that definitely won't be at their best if they try to match Chicago's small-ball lineups.

Ayo Dosunmu and Alex Caruso

Don't Lose Focus vs. Struggling Team

The Chicago Bulls have collectively shocked the basketball world this season, rushing out to a 12-5 record and 1st place spot with a team many critics felt wouldn't fit together.

Chicago has managed to be so effective by pairing a relentless perimeter defense predicated on speed with a pair of dominant, yet unselfish isolation scorers in Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.

Indiana is a proud team that is perhaps a bit better than their record would indicate. They are 2-9 on the road but can definitely grind down a Bulls team that rebounds bu committee. If the Bulls can keep their focus and not let the Pacers force them out of their play style, a win is well within their reach on Monday night.

Zach LaVine
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