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Thursday’s win over the Boston Celtics was a weird, unexpected one for the Chicago Bulls. Chicago won the game based off their three-point shooting, something that was a concern heading into this season. Led by Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, the Bulls shot 44% from deep and also crashed the glass. They held off Boston’s late rally thanks to a step back dagger by Wade with less than a minute to go and now start the season 1-0.
Now they welcome Central Division rivals, the Indiana Pacers, to town. This is a matchup that could be very telling for Chicago despite it only being the second game of the season.
The Pacers, like the Celtics, will be coming on the tail end of a back to back. They will be hoping for a better result in this game as they lost to the Brooklyn Nets by double digits last night. Despite getting 22 points from Paul George, Indiana faded away in the 4th quarter. They were outscored 31 to 15 in the final frame and allowed Brooklyn to come back and essentially steal the game from them. Regardless, Indiana is still a dangerous team. Paul George is one of the best two-way players in the league and has a strong supporting cast. Players like Jeff Teague, Myles Turner, and Thad Young are more than capable of taking the score load off of George. Especially Turner who had a fantastic opening night against the Dallas Mavericks, and someone who is going to be tough to handle on the glass. Also, having someone like Al Jefferson come off the bench is a luxury many teams can’t afford at the moment right now.
The matchup to watch tonight will be Jimmy Butler vs Paul George. Both are fantastic players and their battles are really fun to watch. Most famously, last season when Butler preserved a Bulls win by blocking George’s last second shot. Although it looked and probably should have been a foul.
In terms of health, everyone is available for the Bulls tonight.
The game tips off at 7:00 PM CST and will be on CSN and League Pass.