Pacers at Bulls

T.J. Warren on Ejection, Emotions in Heat Game

Jan. 9, 2020 - Pacers forward T.J. Warren and head coach Nate McMillan discuss Warren's ejection in Wednesday's loss to the Miami Heat after an altercation with Heat forward Jimmy Butler.

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T.J. Warren on Ejection, Emotions in Heat Game

Jan. 9, 2020 - Pacers forward T.J. Warren and head coach Nate McMillan discuss Warren's ejection in Wednesday's loss to the Miami Heat after an altercation with Heat forward Jimmy Butler.
Jan 9, 2020  |  02:14

Game Preview: Pacers at Bulls

Friday, January 10, 2020 at 8:00 PM ET at United Center
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor





Matchup

The Pacers (23-15) will look to bounce back from their loss to the Miami Heat when they travel up to the Windy City to square off against the Chicago Bulls (13-25) at the United Center.

A win against a struggling Bulls squad could be just what the doctor orders to get the Blue & Gold back on track. Chicago has yet to win in the month of January, with losses to Utah, Boston, Dallas, and New Orleans to start the month. It's not as if homecourt advantage is helping either, as Chicago has compiled just a 7-13 record at the United Center this season, including a 5-8 mark against Eastern Conference opponents.

The main chink in Chicago's armor has been the offense. They're have the NBA's third-worst offensive rating through 38 games (104.1 points per 100 possessions) — surpassing only the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors, the two teams in last place in their respective conferences. In theory, Indiana's 10th-ranked defense (106.7 points per 100 possessions) should be able to prevent Chicago's scorers from running away with the game.

Nonetheless, standout guard Zach LaVine has been efficient in getting to the bucket. He's 16th in the league in scoring, averaging 23.9 points per game. It appears as if he just doesn't have the supporting cast needed to swing more victories his way.

On the other hand, the Bulls' defense has been strong. Chicago and the Orlando Magic are the only teams yet to reach 20 wins despite having a top-10 defensive rating in the NBA. As of Jan. 8, the Bulls are forcing the opposition to turn the ball over a league-best 18.3 times per game this season. Bulls opponents have committed 20 or more turnovers in 12 games this season, the most such occurrences in the league. The Blue & Gold currently are tied with the Magic for the fewest turnovers per game (12.9), but will have to be vigilant on every single offensive possession if they wish to take home the win.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Aaron Holiday, SG - Jeremy Lamb, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Bulls: PG - Tomas Satoransky, SG - Zach LaVine, SF - Kris Dunn, PF - Lauri Markkanen, C - Daniel Gafford

Injury Report

Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (sore lower back), Naz Mitrou-Long - out (right ankle sprain), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery rehab)

Bulls: Ryan Arcidiacono - probable (right elbow discomfort), Lauri Markkanen - probable (left ankle sprain), Wendell Carter Jr. - out (right ankle sprain), Otto Porter Jr. - out (left foot fracture), Max Strus - out (left ACL injury)

Last Meeting

November 3, 2019: Despite missing Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Myles Turner, Indiana toppled the Bulls 108-95 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to pull to an even 3-3 record to start the season. T.J Warren had a game-high 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, Malcolm Brogdon added 22, and TJ Leaf snagged a career-high 15 rebounds in the contest.

"It's huge," Brogdon said of the win. "Having Victor out, and you know, the type of player he is — an All-Star — and still being able to win games and put it together, it's been huge for us. But then to have Myles and Domas out, and still get this win it's huge for our confidence."

Leaf, JaKarr Sampson, and Goga Bitadze stepped up big time in the paint. Sampson's slam at the 9:13 mark of the first quarter gave Indiana a slim 9-7 lead which they never relinquished for the rest of the game. Bitadze's big buckets in the second helped maintain the lead when the Bulls threatened to make a run. And Leaf's rebounding throughout the game made sure Chicago had very few second chances. In contrast, the Blue & Gold grabbed 10 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second-chance points.

Former Pacers forward Thaddeus Young received an ovation from the crowd when he checked in for the first time for Chiacgo. He finished with 12 points, three rebounds, and three steals in 26 minutes off the bench.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana has won the last six meetings against the Bulls and nine of 10 overall.
  • Chicago owns a 66-27 all-time home record against Indiana.
  • On Wednesday, Victor Oladipo stated his intention to return to the court for Indiana's next bout against the Bulls on Jan. 29 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Tickets

The Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, Jan. 13 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: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)

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