Saturday, April 16, 2011Posted: 12 PM
Bulls (62-20) vs. Pacers (37-45)
Bulls: PPG Rose (25.0); RPG Noah (10.4); APG Rose (7.7)
Pacers: PPG Granger (20.5); RPG Hibbert (7.5); APG Collison (5.1)
The Bulls won nine consecutive games to enter the postseason, as well as 13 of their last 14. The Pacers, however, barely squeaked into the playoffs, edging the Bucks for the final spot in the Eastern Conference with five wins in their last 10 contests.
The Bulls took three of the four games between the two clubs this season, but Indiana grabbed the final matchup a 115-108 overtime win. Chicago outscored the Pacers 409-363 during the season series.
Luol Deng averaged 18 points and seven rebounds per game against the Pacers this year.
In games against Chicago, Tyler Hansbough averaged nearly twice as many points (20.5) as he did during the rest of the regular season (11.0).
MVP front-runner Derrick Rose has been great all season, but he shot 57 percent from the field and averaged 26.7 points over his last three games of the regular season.
The Bulls-Pacers series joins the Celtics-Knicks and Magic-Hawks series on the list of first-round matchups between division rivals. Chicago has only one loss in 16 games against a Central Division opponents this season and it came to the Pacers on March 18.
Who will win the matchup between Luol Deng and Danny Granger at small forward?
Rajon Rondo is preparing to play in Wednesday's huge Game 5, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.
The point guard has missed the last two games after suffering a fractured right thumb in the second half of Game 2.
In his absence, the Bulls have struggled to find any consistency at the point and lost consecutive home games by a combined 26 points. Jerian Grant started Games 3 and 4 in Chicago, but he had a short leash. And after Michael Carter-Williams also struggled, Fred Hoiberg ultimately turned to reserve guard Isaiah Canaan.
[RELATED: Will the Bulls be able to turn to Rajon Rondo soon?]
Rondo's return to the floor could have huge implications in the series. In the two games Rondo has played, he's averaged 11.5 points and 10 assists. The Bulls won both of those contests while the Celtics struggled to defend.
Follow CSNChicago.com for updates on this development.
In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Hub Arkush (Pro Football Weekly/670 The Score), Chris Hine (Chicago Tribune) and Jordan Bernfield join Kap on the panel.
Rajon Rondo did not have a cast on at practice Tuesday. Could he return in this series?
With the NFL Draft only 48 hours away, what are the chances the Bears move down in the first round?
Plus, the Blackhawks make more organizational changes and Chicagoland Speedway President Scott Paddock drops by to discuss Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s retirement and what’s next for NASCAR.
Listen to the SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:
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