Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Pacers Win or Bulls Loss

  January 25th, 2012, Chicago, Illinois is the setting for the 8:00 matchup between the first place Chicago Bulls and the 5th place Indiana Pacers. The Bulls have the best record in the NBA, and are undefeated at home. The Indiana Pacers who, coming in, have already beaten Boston twice, and the Lakers in LA, are traveling to the United Center for the ultimate test to prove to all the doubters(me) that they are a force in the league this year. Starting lineup for the Bulls are; MVP Derrick Rose; former Detroit star Rip Hamilton; replacing Luol Deng, Ronnie Brewer; Second option Carlos Boozer; and finally love him or hate him, Joakim Noah. As for the Pacers; solid Darren Collison, an improved Paul George, the pacers leading man Danny Granger, a re-energized David West, and underrated Roy Hibbert. 
 Now, let's be honest seems like an easy win for the home team right? Best Record, Best Record at home, last year's Best Player, surely with all of those small things in your favor you can't lose right? Not to mention this is the former 8th seeded team whom you faced in the first round, and beat. But there's something different about the Pacers this year. They hustle more, they play more as a team, some of the players that have been hibernating in their cocoons have awakened and the Pacers have blossomed into a beautifully good NBA team. A team that has the potential to perhaps, dare I say, make it deeper into the playoffs.  

 Now, that same process happened to the Bulls, early last season when they started to beat the NBA's elite also. So, coming into tonight's contest, it was close throughout the game. Every basket that Chicago makes, BOOM, Indiana makes one, Chicago misses a shot, BAM, Pacers turnover. The two teams looked very evenly matched.  Much of the reason has to do with the incredibly improved play of the Pacers' frontcourt. West has found a new life in Indiana, and is playing like an All-Star in the East. Roy Hibbert, broken nose and all, is displaying the true definition of heart. Not only is Hibbert playing, Hibbert is playing well, really well. Dominating some of the NBA's best big man and not getting the credit for the effort that is put in every night with a broken nose, is really speaking to his character. 
  The Bulls and Pacers were close throughout the game. No one seeming to pull away, until the final 4 minutes of the game. Not the Bulls, but the Pacers, started hitting shots, and outworking Chicago for every rebound. Now since Chicago's a good team, they kept up with them by matching the intensity. With good all around team play and a final Brian Scalabrine (?) miss, the Pacers prevail to hand Chicago its first loss at home this season. 

 Now, to analyze whether it was a Pacers' win, or a Bulls' loss. In the final 2 minutes of the game, the Pacers kept up their intensity and the Bulls were barely keeping up with them. Chicago did not make shots in the closing minutes of the game. In the final two mintues, Carlos Boozer picked up his 5th foul, Coach Tom Thibbodeau takes him out as any smart coach would do and he puts in, Brian Scalabrine? The Bulls have been dealing with injuries this entire season. So yeah, Brian Scalabrine goes in to give the Bulls a spark on defense which they desperately needed. He did his job and helped make the Pacers miss 3 key shots, which gave the bulls one final possession to tie. coming out of the timeout we all know whose hands the ball is going to be in: Rose's. So he takes it, easily gets past his defender, and like a good defender does Hibbert goes over to contest Rose from getting the easy layup. Rose passes it to the corner in hope that whoever is there is going to make the shot. Who is it? None other than Brian Scalabrine. Why is he even in the game? B-Scal is a man who only 4 days prior to this, was a guy that you brought in only when you were up 40. Now all of a sudden, Thibbodeau trusts this guy with the game? Scal wasn't even expecting the ball. He, just like everyone else in that United Center, thought that Rose was going to get the last shot. That's how it usually is, the leader gets it, and his teammates will go with what there leader does. I mean, at the end of a concert you dont see Taylor Swift tossing the mic to one of her backup singers. When it comes down to it, the Bulls got beat. The Pacers won this one. This win makes for a more competitive and exciting Eastern Conference, and a promising rivalry between the two teams.

Please leave comments below, and any feedback.



  1. impressed with the writing and level of detailed observation. nice blog!

    cb, toronto.

    (god our team is the pits!)

  2. thanks. we love getting new viewers so don't be afraid to bookmark and check back everyday haha. every view helps.

  3. David West is averaging 11 points a game. Being a David West fan is fine but his offensive production has been well below what he was doing in New Orleans, and his shooting percentage has dropped to mediocrity.

  4. On paper, I definitely agree that David West's production is down. His numbers are easily down, and some of his shots are misguided. But the reason that D West went to Indy was because he was ready to fall into a more supporting role with a team that he felt was young and ready to grow around him. He provides great leadership, and his defense is key down the stretch. His ability to play a lot of minutes is good, and like we said, all that makes him a solid power forward. You're definitely right, I couldn't agree more that his statistical production is down, but the intangibles are up. And finally, the Pacers don't need him to score 20 points, because they have 7 players who average over ten points a game. Their leading scorer averages around 15 or 16. So i agree and disagree with you haha.