At the wrong time on their learning curb, the Chicago Bulls have to play on the road against the only undefeated team left in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers, with the best defense in the league so far ready to make Derrick Rose look very bad once again.
The Bulls are 1-2 so far this season, losing twice on the road. Their offense has been struggling, scoring only 93.7 points per game while turning the ball over 18.7 times a game and shooting only 23.2% from beyond the arc. It’s the wrong time to play the Pacers, coming off a win over the Pistons, advancing to 4-0 this season.
It’s obviously a team effort, but Paul George shines above the rest, justifying the massive extension he got from the team in the offseason. He’s averaging 27 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game, shooting a lot better than in the past, currently at 52.9% from the field. The Pacers are keeping teams at 85.5 points per game, limiting them to only 37.9% from the field.
George Hill is still on a day-to-day, which means Rose might be facing C.J. Watson at point guard for the Pacers. Rose has been struggling, despite his game winning shot against the New York Knicks. He’s taking too many shots and looking too out of sync with his teammates, averaging 14.3 points while shooting a terrible 28.8% from the field, unable to use his penetrations to get some easy points from the line, attempting only 3.3 shots per game.
It’s going to be a very interesting battle in the paint between Roy Hibbert, David West, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. The Pacers rely on their starting five to get them points, with Paul Geroge and Lance Stephenson doing most of the damage so far. The Bulls are going to need a better a game than usual from Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy in order to counter the Pacers currently have with their starting unit.
Prediction – In what will surely be an ugly game with two teams that believe in the same principles of basketball, Derrick Rose is going to look better than in his first three games, taking advantage of the Pacers’ back-to-back and hand them their first loss of the season.