A four-game losing streak has put the Pacers as close to desperation mode as a team can be just 12 games into the season.
Following Indiana’s 114-97 loss to the Pistons on Wednesday night, Myles Turner told the IndyStar that he considered Friday’s meeting with the 2-7 Chicago Bulls a “must win for us.”
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While the Pacers’ first game against their Central Division foe isn’t a true must-win, Turner’s sentiment is understood, considering the rest of Indiana’s November following Friday consists of nine games, only one of which is against a team with a sub-.500 record.
The bright side of things for the Pacers (5-7) is that despite having dropped four straight, Indiana has had a chance to win all four, carrying leads in the second half of three of the four losses.
The second half has seemed to be the culprit of much of Indiana’s problems over the past four games, with the Pacers getting outscored by an average of 16.8 points over the final two quarters.
In the first half, it has been a completely different team, one that outscores its opponents by 6.8 points, shoots 54 percent from the field, and dishes out 14.8 assists.
In the second half over the last four games, Indiana’s shooting percentage has cratered to .420, while only passing out 7.8 assists.
On Friday night in Chicago (2-7), the Pacers get a shot at a Bulls team that has lost its last two games, and has only collected two victories on the season.
Thus far, the Bulls have posted the worst offensive rating in the NBA (points per 100 possessions), checking in at 94.2 according to NBA.com/stats.
Chicago’s sputtering offense could be a good remedy for Turner and the Pacers to deliver a strong performance on the defensive side of the ball, where Indiana has given up a concerning 115 points per game over the last four contests.
Pacers: PG – Darren Collison, SG – Victor Oladipo, SF – Bojan Bogdanovic, PF – Thaddeus Young, C – Myles Turner
Bulls: PG – Jerian Grant, SG – Justin Holiday, SF – Paul Zipser, PF – Lauri Markkanen, C – Robin Lopez
Pacers: Glenn Robinson III – out (left ankle surgery rehabilitation), Edmond Sumner – out (left knee surgery rehabilitation), Domantas Sabonis – questionable (right calf contusion)
Bulls: David Nwaba – out (right ankle sprain), Zach LaVine – out (left ACL), Nikola Mirotić – out (maxillary fracture), Cameron Payne – out (right foot)
December 30, 2017: Indiana never trailed in a 111-101 win over the Chicago Bulls, snapping a four-game losing streak.
The Pacers jumped in front shortly after the opening tipoff, and had a double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter before Chicago rallied to tie the game midway through the period.
Indiana pulled ahead late as Jeff Teague set a personal best, recording 17 assists in the winning effort.
- Chicago leads the all-time series between the two teams, 96-84
- Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg played for the Pacers from 1995-99.
- The Pacers and Bulls split the season series last year, 2-2.
- Domantas Sabonis has missed the last two games with a right calf contusion.
Following their trip to Chicago, the Pacers will return home to host James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 6:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)
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Away Game Night Special
Pacers Flag Hat – $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM – Midnight. Order Online »
Home Court Gift Shop Game Night Special
Pacers Red, White, and Blue Hat – $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM – Midnight. Order Online »
Construction Note: The city’s department of public works is replacing the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Street from just north of Georgia Street to Bankers Life Court. Portions of the sidewalk may be closed, but pedestrians should still have access to the Pennsylvania Street entrance of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.–>