Pacers vs Bulls

Game Preview: Pacers vs Bulls

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Last Updated: Dec. 3 at 11:00 AM ET

Matchup

After a week out West, the Pacers (13-10) return to the friendly confines of Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host the Chicago Bulls (5-19) on Tuesday evening.

Indiana returns home a little disappointed after back-to-back losses to the Lakers and Kings, but there is no shame in posting a 2-2 record on the trip, especially considering that all of those games came without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, who remains out indefinitely with a sore right knee.

The good news for the Pacers is the schedule lightens up this month. The Pacers will play nine of their remaining 14 games in the month of December at home and just four of those 14 contests come against teams currently with a winning record. Even if Oladipo misses another couple of weeks, the Blue & Gold have a good chance of improving their record over that span.

To fully capitalize on this easier stretch of the schedule, however, the Pacers must take better control of the ball than they did in their last two games. Indiana had 17 turnovers in Thursday's loss in Los Angeles and a season-high 25 giveaways in Saturday's defeat in Sacramento.

The Bulls are in full-on rebuilding most this season and have lost six straight and 10 of their last 11 contests. They fired head coach Fred Hoiberg on Monday and named assistant Jim Boylen interim head coach. Boylen was an assistant for the Pacers under Frank Vogel from 2011-13 and will make his debut as Bulls head coach against his former team.

Chicago did get a boost on Saturday, as second-year forward Lauri Markkanen made his season debut against the Rockets after missing the first 23 games of the season with a sprained elbow.

The 7-foot Markkanen averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as a rookie. The Bulls can now pair him with 2018 first-round pick Wendell Carter Jr. and hope they develop into a formidable frontcourt tandem.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Tyreke Evans, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Bulls: PG - Ryan Arcidiacono, SG - Zach LaVine, SF - Justin Holiday, PF - Jabari Parker, C - Wendell Carter Jr.

Injury Report

Pacers: Victor Oladipo - out (sore right knee)

Bulls: Kris Dunn - out (left MCL sprain), Bobby Portis - out (right MCL sprain), Denzel Valentine - out (left ankle surgery)

Last Meeting

November 2, 2018: Darren Collison hit the go-ahead jumper with 18.5 seconds left and Myles Turner blocked Antonio Blakeney at the buzzer to preserve a 107-105 Pacers win in Chicago.

Victor Oladipo led Indiana with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists in the victory. Turner added 18 points and matched his career high with 18 blocks, while Collsion chipped in 14 points and four assists.

Blakeney led the Bulls with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Zach LaVine added 20 points, five assists, and six rebounds in the loss.

Noteworthy

  • After Tuesday's game, the Pacers and Bulls will meet twice more this season: in Chicago on Jan. 4 and in Indianapolis on March 5.
  • Pacers forward Thaddeus Young needs six rebounds on Tuesday to reach 5,000 for his career.
  • Tuesday's game could mark the first time Pacers rookie guard Aaron Holiday plays against one his brothers in a regular season NBA game. The younger Holiday did not see the court in Indiana's first game against Justin and the Bulls, but has moved into the rotation since Victor Oladipo's injury. The Pacers have not yet played Jrue Holiday and the Pelicans this season.

Tickets

The Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 PM ET. 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)


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