[Thanks to chgobr for today's game preview. -Matt]
Tonight is another opportunity to digest the trade and the solve the Bulls puzzle. Can we find a combination that dazzled us against Denver? Can we better understand what is missing? Are all the pieces already here and nothing is missing? There is a great deal to like about this group of players. Our challenge is meshing, chemistry, synergy, finding a way for the sum to be greater than its parts and avoid redundancy (like I just did).
Tonight's game is between two struggling teams. The Bulls have lost 5 of 7 and the Pacers 12 of 15. Kirk Hinrich's 38 points led the Bulls to a 108-95 home victory Jan. 23. Kirk is salivating as he looks forward to facing Travis Diener again. Indiana, 22-35, a tad worse then our 22-34, have pieces (O'Neal, Murphy, Dunleavy, Tinsley, Foster, Marquis Daniels, Granger and Kareem Rush) and like us, are trying to solve the puzzle. Speculation about O'Neal and Tinsley's knees and their return abound. If you could guarantee O'Neal's health he would be in the mix for Bulls savior. O'Neal's knees and $19.7, $21.3, and $23 through 2009-10 make him almost impossible to move. Against Toronto Monday the Pacers came from 10 down and Kareem Rush almost tied it with a three. Expect the Pacers to play with energy as they did against Toronto." We really competed our hearts out in the second half," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "We played a good basketball team, never gave up ....."
Bulls - Pacers: opportunity to examine pieces and solve our puzzle.