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Bulls vs. Pacers game preview, injury report, lineups

Boylen era begins - Will there be a difference?

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (5-19) at Indiana Pacers (13-10)

6 p.m., NBC Chicago Sports

Injury Report:

Pacers star Victor Oladipo will not suit up against the Bulls as he continues to deal with right knee soreness.

As for the Bulls, Lauri Markkanen returned over the weekend and per new coach Jim Boylen will be starting. Jabari Parker heads to the bench as Justin Holiday keeps his SF job.

As for the other injured Bulls:

The Last Time:

Antonio Blakeney knotted the score at 105 with 30 seconds remaining in the game after an incredible four-point play. But on the following possession, Pacers guard Darren Collison splashed in what would be the game-winning jumper to give Indiana a 107-105 victory at the United Center. This was the third game in a Bulls four-game losing streak and marked the second heartbreaking loss in as many games (lost to the Denver Nuggets on a Paul Millsap game-winning putback the game before).

3 Things:

1). Boylen Era Begins

Everybody knows what happened yesterday.

Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg died for the sins of Bulls executives Gar Forman and John Paxson and the Bulls named Jim Boylen as their new head coach.

He’s a defense guy and there’s some tongue-in-cheek irony that the Bulls fired a better defense guy in Tom Thibodeau for an offensive guy in Hoiberg and now are going back to a defense guy.

So, it’ll be interesting to see how much Boylen overhauls what the Bulls did offensively under Hoiberg and whether he can build a cohesive offensive unit out of all the young talent on this roster.

Time will tell, but if the Bulls don’t come out with a spirited effort tonight for their new head coach there will be hell to be paid immediately.

2). Pacers struggling without Oladipo

The Pacers are 3-4 without their star this season.

In his absence, free agent signee Tyreke Evans has earned starts and has been miserable. In seven starts this season, he’s averaging 9.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists on 31.1 percent shooting from the field. His offensive rating as a starter is 82 and he’s a net -1.2.

3). Pacers have a lot of big men who can do damage

Domantas Sabonis has been balling. So much so, that he has positioned himself at the forefront of Sixth Man of the Year and Most Improved Player conversations.

Off the bench this season, he’s averaging 14.5 points per game on an absurd 64.4 percent from the field (fourth in the league). On many teams, he’d be starting but the Pacers have two other frontcourt guys in Myles Turner and Thaddeus Young who also average in double figures. Collectively, they anchor a defense that is third in the league in defensive rating (104.9).