Indiana Pacers (16-12)
Chicago Bulls (15-12)
UPDATE: TONIGHT’S GAME HAS BEEN POSTPONED AND WILL BE PLAYED AT ANOTHER TIME.
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the basketball will be so delightful. I had to get the cheap weather related comment in this preview as I look outside and see snow all around. Wondering if tonight’s game between the Bulls and Pacers is happening, last check it was. That should be a sparse crowd unless things clear up around here, but this should be an excellent game between two teams that are brewing a small rivalry.
Pacers and Bulls have always had a little something in the days of Jordan, which went away after Jordan left. But then came the playoff series two years ago and a couple of games last season that the intensity as both teams wanted to up the other. Tonight’s game should be having that playoff like atmosphere as the last meeting was down to the wire.
Paul George was that catalyst in the Pacers’ win as he got off with 34 points, a game after going for no points. He’s been good ever since that point, even earning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors. It’s the first for a Pacers player since 2007. Paul George might have to be just as good as that evening to help the Pacers to another win over the Bulls.
Another win puts the Pacers even more ahead of the Bulls in the standings. They got a Christmas gift last night as they went to bed in first place in the division. That’s where I envision the Pacers at the end of the season, but it’s important to be there now as well, and get that momentum going.
This should be a drag out fight, and if you don’t like defense, you’ll not like this game much. Both teams hold their own so well on the defensive end that you have to hit shots when you get the chance. The Bulls will be stewing after a bad loss last night to the Houston Rockets. The Pacers meanwhile had a few days off, so hopefully that rest doesn’t mean they are rusty. They need to come out and put the Bulls away early and pad the division lead. If the Pacers win, I think it’s another close game like previous and might not be decided to the last moments of the game. But I’m going out with a Pacers win, and let’s get the Blue and Gold swagger on.