Countdown to Tipoff: Pacers vs Chicago, Game 5

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By Conrad Brunner,

SCOUTING THE PACERS: Even in victory, the Pacers in Game 4 Saturday suffered a relapse of the fourth-quarter problems that led to losses in the first three games. They shot just 4-of-13 with eight turnovers as Chicago unleashed a trapping, pressing defense that chipped a 16-point lead to one in less than five minutes. For the series, the Pacers are 27-of-78 (.346) in the fourth quarter with 16 turnovers and 15 assists. They've been outscored 113-85. To stay alive in the series, particularly in the crucible of United Center, Indiana must find a way to maintain its composure the full course of the game. The Pacers have gotten a big lift from their second unit, which has outscored Chicago's reserves 105-59 in the last three games. Indiana's defense has held the Bulls below 40 percent in three straight games -- the longest such streak by Indiana since the 2005-06 season -- while limiting them to 89.3 points on 38.4 percent shooting.

SCOUTING THE BULLS: Chicago's hopes are pinned on Derrick Rose's left ankle. The Bulls are showing little outward concern, considering Rose played more than 32 minutes after injuring the ankle in the first quarter of Game 4, and insist he will be ready to go for Game 5, though he has been wearing a protective boot. Rose has struggled since Indiana coach Frank Vogel added Dahntay Jones to the rotation, forming a defensive tag-team tandem with Paul George. In the last two games Rose has shot just 10-of-40 (.250), including 3-of-15 (.200) from the 3-point line, and he attempted a series low four free throws in Game 4. Rose totaled 38 points in those two games, roughly half his output of the first two (75). Chicago has an increased sense of urgency to close out the series in order to give Rose as much recovery time as possible before the second round matchup with either Atlanta or Orlando.

KEY MATCHUP: Assuming his ankle sprain doesn't limit his mobility, Rose likely will be more aggressive attacking the basket and Indiana's interior help must rotate to help protect the rim without fouling. George will continue to use his length and athleticism to harass him on the perimeter, while Jones will take a more physical approach.

QUOTE MARKS: "What gives us a lot of confidence is knowing those first two games, we should've won at least one of them. Unfortunately, we didn't but we had the opportunity and I'm pretty sure on Tuesday night we'll have the opportunity again. We just have to seize the moment this time." -- Granger

INJURY REPORT: For the Pacers, starting point guard Darren Collison (sprained left ankle) will play. Or the Bulls, starting point guard Derrick Rose (sprained left ankle) is day-to-day.

BROADCAST INFO: The game will be telecast at 8 p.m. on TNT. The radio broadcast is anchored by the flagship of the Pacers' network, WIBC 93 FM, featuring Mark Boyle.

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