Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Time: 6:00PM CT/7:00ET
Radio: ESPN 1000
Announcers: Neil Funk, Stacey King
Line: No Line
Injury Report: CHICAGO — No Injuries Reported
INDIANA — PF David West (Knee, Probable)
Key Matchup: Ronnie Brewer vs. Richard Hamilton
Last Game: Bulls lost to Heat 83-80, Pacers lost to Bulls 116-89
Last Meeting: April 26, 2011 — Bulls 116, Pacers 89
Series History (Since 2002-03): Bulls lead regular season series 20-16; Bulls lead playoff series 4-1
Last Minute Preview: It may not be a game that counts in the overall standings but it nevertheless counts in its own right. It’s the first time the Bulls will hit the hardwood since their ugly exit to the playoffs and you have to believe the taste of that in their mouths is beyond bitter.
The Bulls officially start their journey to a championship tonight because they have two games to work out any kinks they may have. This unit hadn’t been allowed to practice together at team facilities since the lockout when December 9th rolled around. Richard Hamilton is a new piece for the Bulls but everything else is exactly the same (sans Keith Bogans). Ronnie Brewer is getting the start and thus is starting the competition with Hamilton for who gets more minutes. This unit is pretty tight knit however and their short official time together thus far is really just picking up where they left off. The key is to avoid repeating last year’s outcome.
That journey begins tonight in Indianapolis and it really stands true for both teams. The Pacers are an improved team from the one that got bounced in the first round by the Bulls. David West is a key new piece and Indiana will look to be a force.
So if you think that Preseason NBA games are unwatchable, you are sorely mistaken about this one. With just two games to work out the kinks on either end, expect this to play out much like a real game would. Enjoy this game if, for nothing else, it represents the return of the NBA into our lives.