Chuck's Daily Check In - 01.04.19

GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Indiana (25-12, 11-7 on the road) at Bulls (10-28, 5-14 at home).
TV: WGN: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7PM tipoff.
RADIO: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul: 6:45 pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23 ppg. Indiana: Oladipo: 19ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 7 per. Indiana: Sabonis: 9 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6 per. Indiana: Collison and Oladipo: 5 per.

SEASON SERIES: Indiana 2-0.

Oct. 10, 2018 at the United Center: Pacers 107, Bulls 105. Collison with the go-ahead hoop. Blakeney rejected by Turner at the buzzer.

December 4, 2018: Indiana 96, Bulls 90. Jim Boylen's first game as Head Coach. Turner 18-11-5 blocks.

CCI PREVIEW: The Pacers are under the radar and it's just fine with them. Milwaukee and Toronto are having sensational seasons but guess what? So is Indiana. The Pacers have won five in a row and eight of ten. This is a team built for the playoffs. The key of course is the health of Victor Oladipo. If the Pacers expect to go anywhere they have to have Oladipo on the floor for at least 35-37 minutes a night. Domantas Sabonis is a legit candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. He is developing into a consistent, reliable core player who has benefited from a change of scenery leaving OKC. Myles Turner is putting up some robust numbers for the Pacers and has given the Bulls all they can handle averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds in two games and collecting 11 blocks in the season series.


San Antonio 125, Toronto 107: The Spurs jumped on the Raps early. DeMar DeRozan recorded his first career triple double of 21-14-11. Kawhi Leonard returned to San Antonio and the majority of fans booed him. On a personal note, it was tame compared to Vince Carter's first trip back to Toronto. Trust me I was there...but tonight the game belonged to DeRozan. Leonard's line: 21-1-5. The Raps played without Lowry and Valanciunas.

Houston 135, Golden State 134 OT: James Harden with an off-balance, game-winning three point hoop. Kevin Durant's long three missed at the buzzer. Harden's second triple double of the week and his fifth straight 40-point ballgame. The Rockets have won six straight games.

Denver 117, Sacramento 113: Denver needs more national publicity. They're winning and they have big-time talent. Nikola Jokic is an All Star. Period. Jamal Murray is a budding elite player. He scored 17 of his 36 in the fourth quarter last night. The Nuggets have won four straight.

Thanks for reading CCI. Reach out at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls. Always a pleasure!