So the Pacers hung with the Bulls tonight…for 24 minutes. The second half was different, as Derrick Rose delivered on his promise to annihilate (well, he said he “won’t forget it”) the team that beat them on their home floor last time. The result? A 92-72 drubbing where the Pacers actually led by a point at the end of the first half. The loss dropped the Pacers to 23-13, snapping a season high 6-game winning streak.
I’ve said all along that the Bulls simply have an extra gear the Pacers don’t, and they showed it again tonight. I guess it helps when you have the league’s reigning MVP leading your squad and a bunch of hustlers that fight hard on every possession. The Pacers got their behinds handed to them because they couldn’t grab any rebounds or get to any of the 50-50 balls. That and because they couldn’t hit any shots in the second half under the stifling Bulls defense.
The two Georges, Paul George and George Hill, were the bright spots, scoring 21 and 17 respectively, but everyone else pretty much stunk. Roy Hibbert, in particular, was plagued by foul trouble all night and finished with 2 points on 1-6 shooting in 25 minutes. That’s just one field goal in two games, Mr All Star.
The good thing about the condensed schedule is that the Pacers can bounce back tomorrow against the Atlanta Hawks back home. It’s one of their more winnable games on this wild stretch, so let’s hope they don’t waste the opportunity. Otherwise we could be seeing a new season-long losing streak very soon.