Tuesday, December 3rd at 8:00 PM EST at the United Center
Game Preview: IND at CHI
by Scott Agness | Updated: December 4, 2012 at 5:02 PM
Indiana faces Chicago for the first time this season on Tuesday night in the Windy City. The Bulls, who wrap up a four-game homestand against the Pacers, have won the Central Division in each of the last two seasons. But, both the Milwaukee Bucks and Pacers pose threats for the title this year.
Over the summer, the Bulls drafted Indy native Marquis Teague (29th) after he spent just one year at Kentucky and won the 2012 NCAA Championship. They also traded Kyle Korver to Atlanta and signed free agents Vladimir Radmanovic, Kirk Hinrich, Marco Belinelli, and Nazr Mohammed.
Like the Pacers, the Bulls have been without their leader so far this season. The difference, however, is they knew all summer they’d without Derrick Rose for at least the first half of the season due to a torn ACL suffered in last season's playoffs.
The Bulls are guided by defensive-minded Tom Thibodeau, who's in his third season as head coach. Under his guidance, they've won 75 percent of their regular season games each of the last two years. This year, without a former league MVP in Rose, victories have been tougher to acquire.
The Pacers lead the league in rebounds per game, but they will be challenged on the glass by Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah as both grab nearly 10 boards per contest. Luol Deng leads the team in scoring with over 18 points per game along with seven rebounds. They will be without Richard Hamilton, their second-leading scorer, for the next few weeks due to injury.
- C – Joakim Noah
- F – Carlos Boozer
- F – Luol Deng
- G – Marco Belinelli
- G – Kirk Hinrich
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee)
Bulls: Derrick Rose (out, left knee), Richard Hamilton (out, torn plantar fascia in his left foot)
"I’m worried about their fatigue. Anytime you come from the west coast to the east (time zone), it’s very challenging…I’m a little concerned about that but our guys had great energy in practice today and I think having a day off yesterday and then a late practice today to give them extra time to sleep in, hopefully will help them get their legs back under them." – Frank Vogel on returning from the west coast
"We got to understand their pick-and-roll defense. They are very good about keeping the ball on the side so we have to get ball reversal. We really have to dial in to Luol Deng. He’s going to become their go-to guy even more with Rip Hamilton being out. And, we have to score the ball. They are one of the best defensive teams in the league." – Frank Vogel on the keys to the game
"It doesn’t really impact (us). They still got guys that can score the ball. (Marco) Belinelli can come in and run the same sets Rip Hamilton does and they’ll go to Luol Deng more, which is not a fun thing for us." – Frank Vogel on Richard Hamilton being out
- The Bulls have won the last two regular-season meetings and eight of 11.
- Until Tuesday’s game, the Bulls had started the same core in all but one game.
- With the best NBA attendance the last three seasons, the Bulls have sold out their last 95 games, dating back to April of 2010.
The Pacers have already seen the Bulls, though it was a preseason game and on neutral territory. In the final preseason game before the regular season tipped, the Bulls led the entire way and won 97-90 on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.
Roy Hibbert scored a team-high 17 points but it was a team effort, as six Pacers scored at least 10 points. Danny Granger played in his second preseason game and didn't look comfortable, but had 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting in 22 minutes of action.
The Bulls shot 46 percent from the field and outrebounded the Pacers 50-37. Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 21 points. Luol Deng added 17 and Carlos Boozer had 13.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Michael Grady (host)