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?