Rapid Reaction: Bulls 103, Pacers 98
October, 18, 2013
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 103-98 win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at the United Center.
How it happened: Derrick Rose had another great performance for the Bulls, scoring 32 points in 31 minutes. Rose was for 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and looks much more comfortable with his outside shot. He also had nine assists, four rebounds and showed no hesitation going to the rim against Pacers center Roy Hibbert. Luol Deng added 22 points and six rebounds.
What it means: The good news for the Bulls is that Rose continues to look solid. He played until the end of the game and made some crucial shots down the stretch in a game that didn't feel much like a preseason contest at all, given the intensity on the floor and the fact the starters were in at the end.
The bad news is that the absence of Joakim Noah (groin) and Jimmy Butler (knee) only underscored how shorthanded the Bulls are in the frontcourt. Hibbert is a tough matchup for any team, but when the Bulls are playing without Noah, the Pacers, smartly, look for their big man every time. Nazr Mohammed can give the Bulls solid minutes here and there, but he shouldn't be expected to play 20 to 25 minutes and contribute much when Noah is out. The Bulls rolled the dice by selecting rookie Tony Snell in the draft. If Noah continues to battle injuries, that decision -- no matter how good Snell becomes later in his career -- will backfire on the Bulls this season.
Hits: Taj Gibson had another solid game with 13 points and five rebounds.
Misses: The Pacers were just 23-for-35 from the free throw line, including several big misses down the stretch.
Stat of the night: 16-10. The Pacers had 16 turnovers compared to the Bulls’ 10.
What's next: The Bulls take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night at the United Center.