Post-Game Grades: Bulls Give Pacers the Bizness

Miserable. Derrick Rose warned the Pacers that this would happen and, after shooting a woeful 1-for-9 in the first half, he delivered on his promise. Both he and Luol Deng orchestrated a third-quarter rout, during which the Bulls’ two perimeter All-Stars hit 5 combined three-pointers to help their team out-score Indiana by 20.

When you are a team — even a good team — that is headed to play the conference’s (and maybe the NBA’s) best squad on its home floor for the second time in a month, no one really should expect you to win. The Pacers have set the “road warrior” bar pretty high by winning in Chicago, Los Angeles (against the Lakers), Dallas, Orlando and Boston in the early part of this season. So it was certainly a win that felt within reach even as the Pacers sat on a one-point lead at halftime. But losing this game isn’t a problem.

Getting your ass handed to you while getting outscored 50-29 over the final 24 minutes is, however. One loss, even if it’s a 92-72 loss to a division rival, in the middle of a truncated schedule isn’t going to make or break this team, but they have to be a little embarrassed and somewhat, at least temporarily, demoralized.

Silver lining: they have plenty of opportunities to make up for it. Tomorrow they play the Hawks at home then it’s match-ups against Miami, Orlando, Portland, Philly, New York (twice) and Los Angeles (Lob City edition). There isn’t a cupcake in the bunch so they should be able to get a big win or two. Or, ya know, maybe get demoralized a few more times.

Here is how each guy played individually tonight. Agree? Disagree? Express your thoughts below in the comments or yell at me (@8pts9secs) or Tim (@TimDonahue8p9s) on Twitter.

David West - 34 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS
Another sub-50% shooting night while rimming out a bunch of herky-jerky attempts from inside 10 feet. Seemed helpful in keeping Chicago out of the paint while the game was still a game.
Danny Granger – 31 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS
Out of sorts. He missed many an inside shot while generally being awkward with his dribble and made poor, hesitant decisions that rarely improved his team’s chances to score as the shot clock ticked away. Some good D.
Roy Hibbert - 25 MIN | 1-6 FG | 7 REB | 4 AST | 3 BLK | 2 PTS
Got into some foul trouble that probably wasn’t his fault, but that’s no excuse for a 2-point performance. Got badly out-muscled by Noah all night.
Darren Collison - 31 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS
Played some good lead defense on a team defensive effort that held Derrick Rose to 1-for-9 shooting in the first half. Did nothing else well.
Paul George - 33 MIN | 8-17 FG | 5-5 FT | 1 REB | 2 STL | 21 PTSThe only Pacer starter who played well, scoring in the paint and getting to the line. With 0 3-pointers, his 21 pts represent one of his more aggressive games. And his defense was mostly superb.

Dahntay Jones - 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS
Don’t really recall him being on the court.
Louis Amundson – 13 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS
Nice little game to help the second-unit get some buckets in the first half.
A.J. Price - 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-4 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS
Not good. One highly ill-advised three taken early in the shot clock the possession following one of his teammates doing the same thing. Your point guard can’t do that.
George Hill - 25 MIN | 6-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS
Dropped 10 early and was the only bright spot in this one other than the guy he backs up at SG. Too bad the starters wasted his good effort by getting blown out in the 3rd quarter.
Tyler Hansbrough - 25 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0 FT | 3 STL | 6 REB | 2 PTS
Hard to even be shocked when he throws up all over himself for 25 mins at a time at this point. Aside from his season-high 22-point night on Feb. 22, he is shooting 36.5% (19-for-52) since Feb. 10.

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Tags: Losing To Chicago

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