Do you remember that one team that went 82-0? Me neither.
The Pacers came into Saturday night’s game against the Bulls as the NBA’s lone unbeaten team at 9-0, but they ran into a Bulls team that is starting to find their rhythm. The Pacers had yet to give up over 91 points in a game, and they had the league’s best defense. The Bulls had been struggling, but Derrick Rose returned from missing a game with a sore hamstring, and he looked like the 2011 MVP again.
Rose had 20 points, and he was 6 of 11 from beyond the arc, which is scary for defenses around the league. Luol Deng led the Bulls with 23, and they had a 12-2 run in the 1st quarter, and never looked back. The Pacers looked bad on offense, as Paul George shot just 3 of 14, and they shot 40% overall. They had only 16 assists on the night, and the Bulls looked stout on defense again.
The Pacers weren’t going to win all of their games, so there shouldn’t be much overreaction to this game. This was more about how the Bulls looked, than how the Pacers did. It will take some time for the Bulls to get their well-oiled machine rolling, and they are showing signs of that. It was a dominant performance for them on both ends, and they had 7 players in double figures. They also outrebounded the Pacers 42-37, which is something Indiana does well.
Watch out NBA, the Bulls are starting to look like contenders again. For the Pacers, it’s just one game, and they are still the best team in the East–if not the whole league. Chicago moves to 5-3 on the season with a 110-94 win at home.