Coming off a disappointing 94-86 loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the Chicago Bulls look to end their three-game losing skid. The Bulls go up against rival and top contending team, the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are riding a four-game winning streak with their sole loss in the preseason opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The game will be at home for the Bulls at the United Center. Tip off will be at 8:00 PM with an airing on NBATV. The last meeting between the two teams was on March 18th with the Bulls cruising to an easy 103-86 victory. Both teams will look to test each other as they will face off a total of four times during the regular season. Pacers coach Frank Vogel will be projected to start a smaller lineup with George Hill, Monta Ellis, Paul George, Lavoy Allen, and Ian Mahinmi looking to start. Jordan Hill will sit out due to a sore lower back.
Fred Hoiberg's Bulls will look to improve on the offensive side of the ball as they have struggled getting their shot going. The projected starters for the Bulls look to be Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol, and Joakim Noah. Look to see a no nonsense attitude from the Bulls as they look to build up to their season opener. Hoiberg looks to employ a majority of his lineup as he tests out Bobby Portis and Doug McDermott. The Bulls will look to play unselfish basketball and get a full rotation.
The Pacers, on the other hand, will try to give more minutes to their starters and see how the likes of Paul George will fare with the increased workload. Expect both teams to come down firing and lock down on defense.
Bulls star and former MVP Derrick Rose will continue to sit out the rest of the preseason coming off the orbital fracture he sustained in practice. Hoiberg looks to get him more involved in shootaround and drills as he gears up to come back around the season opener. Meanwhile, Hinrich will get extra minutes in Rose's absence. The Bulls have missed Rose's playmaking ability, as they look to get in a rhythm without him. Coming off 18 points in the previous game, Butler looks to continue to work on his jump shot and gain confidence on a nightly basis.
Expect the Bulls to try to get back to a faster tempo, as they have slowed down as of late. The Pacers will also come with high energy and look to build on their win streak. Both teams will be mixing and matching their lineups in order to find different combinations that help get their respective teams jump started. In an important preseason game, stay tuned to see if the Bulls can bounce back against the Pacers.