From questionable calls to dense offense, the Chicago Bulls struggled mightily against the Indiana Pacers. This particular game was quite an eye-sore for fans. Since the tip-off in the first quarter, the flow of the game was choppy due to the quick whistle blowing of the referees, which resulted in boiling frustration from the players.
There’s a common theme happening during Bulls games. Nearly every game goes down to the wire and the Bulls struggle to find a closer to seal the deal. Rip Hamilton was inactive due to a torn Plantar Fascia in his left foot. Hamilton is a tremendous part of the offense along side Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. The Chicago Bulls certainly missed him last night against Paul George and the Indiana Pacers. Hamilton may be out of the lineup for several weeks.
The Chicago Bulls only shot 38.4% from the field. This is only slightly better than the Pacers shooting just 36.3%. Danny Granger is inactive for the Indiana Pacers, but they found another closer in Paul George to take them to victory. George was uncontainable with 34 points and 9 rebounds. Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, and Nate Robinson were the only 3 players to score in double figures for the Bulls. Nate led the Bulls in scoring with 19 points in 25 minutes. Boozer ended the game with another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Luol Deng had 17 points and 7 rebounds in nearly 41 minutes on the floor.
The Chicago Bulls are now 8-8 (5-5 home) in the Eastern Conference with the 76-80 loss against the Indiana Pacers.
But, news broke yesterday that Derrick Rose is still on schedule and is just weeks away from being able to practice with the team. For about 3 weeks, Rose has been sprinting and cutting. Before the game last night, he was seen practicing his jumpers and free throws in the United Center. There’s no plan to rush Rose back even though the Bulls desperately need him. His plan is to take his time and make sure his 100% healthy and mentally ready before his return. Surely, Bulls fans are anxious and a bit panicky, but Rose and the Bulls cannot afford to risk it by sending him back on the court before his time.
Tonight, the Chicago Bulls will face the Cleveland Cavaliers at 8pm ET/7pm.