Preview: Chicago At Indiana
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, November 27, 2015
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
The Indiana Pacers have spent the last three games destroying their opponents and are winners of nine of their last 11 contests. The Pacers will get a chance to atone for one of those two setbacks when they host the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
Indiana fell 96-95 at Chicago on Nov. 16 but followed that up with wins over Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Washington by a combined 81 points while exploding from long range in its new-look offense. The Pacers buried 12 3-pointers against the 76ers, bumped that number up to 15 against the Bucks and caught fire for a franchise-record 19 3-pointers on 26 attempts in Tuesday’s 123-106 triumph over the Wizards. The Bulls held the Portland Trail Blazers to 6-of-22 from beyond the arc in a 93-88 victory on Tuesday and have won five of the last six, with the lone loss in that span coming at undefeated Golden State. “They’re a good defensive team and they close out hard on the perimeter,” Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard told reporters of Chicago after going 0-of-6 from 3-point range.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, FSN Indiana
ABOUT THE BULLS (9-4): Derrick Rose went down with a sprained ankle midway through the fourth quarter in the Nov. 16 meeting with the Pacers and watched as Jimmy Butler got the key defensive spot against Paul George on the final possession. Rose sat out the next two games but returned at Portland and scored 17 points on 7-of-20 shooting in 35 minutes. “I felt all right,” Rose told reporters. “There were some plays where I didn’t have any lift on my shot when driving the ball, but that will come with the more I play and the stronger I get.”
ABOUT THE PACERS (9-5): George’s remarkable return from a broken leg and his ability to switch between forward spots depending on the personnel on the court is giving Indiana a different dynamic on offense and opening up the floor for 3-point shots. George went 7-of-8 from beyond the arc en route to a season-high 40 points while C.J. Miles knocked down 8-of-9 from 3-point range in Tuesday’s record-setting performance. “He just creates space for everybody,” Miles told reporters of George. “We talk about space all the time. We have four guards out there, but if there was three there still would be space out there.”
1. George has scored at least 20 points in 10 straight games and is averaging 29.6 points in that span.
2. Chicago G/F Doug McDermott is 1-of-8 from 3-point range over the last three games, dropping his season mark to 48.9 percent from beyond the arc.
3. Miles scored a season-high 32 points on Tuesday and is averaging 24.3 over the last three contests.
PREDICTION: Pacers 109, Bulls 99