Bulls 52, Pacers 47 — HALFTIME
Welcome to the Pippen Ain’t Easy Halftime Report powered by Fansided.
Well it’s here and basketball is finally underway after all the uncertainty of the lockout. The Bulls are shown the effects of the lockout right out of the gate. In the first quarter alone the Bulls had nine fouls and six turnovers, an unacceptable number even for a preseason game.
They ended the first quarter trailing by 11, but they turned it around in the second quarter with the rookie Jimmy Butler doing his fair share of carrying the load. Butler came in and went 3-3 from field goal range scoring six points. Butler was expecting to see heavy minutes come his way this game and this season for that matter, and the fact the Bulls got into such serious foul trouble so early helped him see more time.
Derrick Rose, C.J. Watson and Joakim Noah all recored multiple personal fouls in the first quarter with Rose picking up a third foul in the second.
The Bulls picked up where they left off last season and continued their trend of never being out of it no matter the score. Down by 11 after the first break, Chicago battled back to eventually tie the game with five minutes to go on a Kyle Korver jumper. The Bulls then flirted with blowing that lead but with the help of fouls going their way, kept the lead with free throws.
Derrick Rose, as usual, leads the scoring at the half with Luol Deng not too far behind. This is a trend that continues from last season that the Bulls would love to see cover this 66 game season.
A trend the Bulls would not like to see continue is the foul trouble. Already the Bulls have 16 team fouls to the Pacers 10.
However the Bulls have remained a pretty good defensive unit, sinking the Pacers shooting percentage to below 35 percent in the second quarter. The Pacers shooting from the first quarter dropped to 1 for 20 in the second.
The Bulls looked rusty in the first quarter but they came out super strong in the second holding Indiana to 1-20 from field goal range. It was an incredible turnaround and it was very much in Bulls fashion. C.J. Watson has looked impressive with ten points and the rookie Jimmy Butler has impressed as well shooting 100 percent from field goal range. Luol Deng continues to be a leader, leading the scoring and rebounding at the half with 12 points and 5 rebounds.
The Bulls are wiring out the kinks and after the opening quarter jitters (of which we had our fair share of last year) they are looking like the unit of old. SO long as that continues the Bulls should have little to worry about in this preseason opener.