Indiana Pacers (9-0) at Chicago Bulls (4-3)
As the Indiana Pacers keep winning, it becomes even more enjoyable looking at the ‘0’ in their loss column. Similar to the first meeting with the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, that ‘0’ will have to fight for its place once again – this time at the United Center in Chicago. If you’re in the area, Pacers vs. Bulls tickets are still available for purchase.
Indiana will yet again be without veteran forward Danny Granger, although it clearly hasn’t phased them yet as they stand tall as the NBA’s only unbeaten team. Granger practiced Tuesday, but has since been sidelined with continued soreness in his left calf. Granger and the team have repeatedly stated his left knee is doing great. It’s the same knee that kept him out the majority of last season.
Meanwhile, Chicago star guard Derrick Rose sat out Friday’s win over the Toronto Raptors with a hamstring injury. It remains to be seen whether Rose will be in uniform tonight against the Pacers. Rose has yet to regain his MVP form and would not be at full strength tonight if he does play.
That said, even though Rose can create matchup problems, the Indiana Pacers know how to slow him down. They did such in the first matchup and I believe they will do it again if Rose steps on the court tonight.
A quiet night from David West on Friday surely means the team leader steps up tonight against Carlos Boozer. West shot 2-3 from the field and finished with seven points in the Pacers’ blowout victory over the injury-depleted Milwaukee Bucks. In the second night of a back-to-back on the road, I envision West coming up big for the blue and gold.
The Pacers have won four of the last five match-ups against the Bulls dating back to the beginning of last season. Tonight could be the most intriguing game between the division rivals if Rose plays. Nonetheless, Chicago will be hunting for revenge from their 17-point defeat at the hands of Indiana just days ago.
Paul George posts a double-double in addition to West’s big numbers. Hibbert mans the paint and head coach Frank Vogel witnesses the best game from his bench so far this season.
With each win, I become more convinced the Pacers will win their next game, which is tonight. Indiana escapes 88-85.