Pacers vs Bulls

Game Preview presented by Jiffy Lube

Pacers Keeping Heat on Teams, Leaf Returns to Rotation

Dec. 5, 2017 - After practice on Tuesday, Pacers forward Thaddeus Young talked about putting teams away once Indiana gets a lead. Pacers head coach Nate McMillan explained what he's looking to see from rookie TJ Leaf's return to the rotation.

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Pacers Keeping Heat on Teams, Leaf Returns to Rotation

Dec. 5, 2017 - After practice on Tuesday, Pacers forward Thaddeus Young talked about putting teams away once Indiana gets a lead. Pacers head coach Nate McMillan explained what he's looking to see from rookie TJ Leaf's return to the rotation.
Dec 5, 2017  |  01:47

Game Preview: Pacers vs Bulls

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Matchup

After tipping off a season-long six-game homestand with a dominant performance on Monday night against the New York Knicks, the Pacers (13-11) will look to make it two wins in a row when they welcome the Chicago Bulls (3-19) to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday evening.

The Pacers bounced back from an 0-2 road trip in spectacular fashion against the shorthanded Knicks, rolling to a 115-97 win that wasn't nearly that close. Seven players scored in double figures and the Pacers led by as many as 38 points against a New York team that was without its top two scorers (Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr.) due to injury.

Monday's victory was yet another example of the Pacers taking care of business against lesser teams, particularly at home. Indiana has not lost at home this season to a team with a .500 record or worse.

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The Pacers will be heavy favorites to come away with another win on Wednesday against a slumping Bulls team. Chicago has dropped nine consecutive contests and currently owns the worst record in the NBA.

The Bulls were expected to be in rebuilding mode after trading away All-Star forward Jimmy Butler last summer, but they have struggled even more than expected over the first quarter of the 2017-18 season.

Still, Chicago does have some talent, particularly rookie forward Lauri Markkanen. The 7-footer appears to be among the contenders for Rookie of the Year honors. As of Monday, he ranked fourth among all rookies in scoring at 14.5 points per game and second in rebounding at 8.0 per contest.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Knicks: PG - Kris Dunn, SG - Justin Holiday, SF - Denzel Valentine, PF - Lauri Markkanen, C - Robin Lopez

Injury Report

Pacers: Cory Joseph - questionable (sore left shoulder), Glenn Robinson III - out (left ankle surgery rehabilitation), Edmond Sumner - out (left knee surgery rehabilitation)

Bulls: Zach LaVine - out (left ACL), Nikola Mirotić - out (maxillary fractures), Cameron Payne - out (right foot)

Last Meeting

November 10, 2017: Indiana snapped a four-game skid with a 105-87 victory in Chicago. The Pacers never trailed in the contest, shooting 51.2 percent from the field and going 12-for-29 (41.4 percent) from 3-point range.

Victor Oladipo led Indiana with 25 points, six rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Bojan Bogdanovic added 22 points and seven rebounds, going 6-for-9 from beyond the arc.

Bobby Portis had a team-high 20 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Bulls. Rookie forward Lauri Markkanen also recorded a double-double, finishing with 12 points and 10 boards.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won eight of their last 10 home games against Chicago.
  • Pacers forward Thaddeus Young and injured Bulls guard Zach LaVine were teammates in Minnesota during the 2014-15 season.
  • Indiana is 85-96 all-time against the Bulls, but 60-31 in games played in Indianapolis.

Tickets

The Pacers continue their six-game homestand with a Central Division showdown against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.

Pacers Team Store Game Night Special

Striped Beanie - $8. The Game Night Special can be purchased at the Pacers Team Store on game day as well as online from 10:00 AM-Midnight. Order Online