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?
Thaddeus Young could don one more different jersey before he hits the court with the Bulls for the first time.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Young has been invited to participate in USA Basketball's training camp roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Team USA has seen several star NBA players withdraw their name for consideration from the team in recent days, including Wizards guard Bradley Beal and 76ers forward Tobias Harris. Thus, there is at least a small chance that Young makes the final roster, which would be the fourth-straight World Cup in which a Bull plays for Team USA
Derrick Rose donned the stars and stripes in both 2010 and 2014, following Kirk Hinrich in 2006 and Jay Williams in 2002. Perhaps Bulls guard Zach LaVine will be the next player to receive an invite?
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The Windy City Bulls are expected to name Damian Cotter their head coach, according to 2 Ways & 10 Days' Adam Johnson.
The Bulls were in search of a replacement for Charlie Henry, who took an assistant coaching role at Alabama University in April after two seasons with Windy City.
Cotter spent last season as an assistant with the Capital City Go-Go, the Washington Wizards' G-League affiliate. In 2018, Cotter was an assistant for the Long Island Nets, the Brooklyn Nets' G-League affiliate. Cotter, an Australian native, has also coached the NBL's Sydney Kings both as an assistant (2013-14) and head coach (2014-15). He has also coached U-19 men's and women's teams in Australia.
Coaching turnover isn't rare in the G-League, and Windy City is no exception. Cotter will become the team's third different head coach in four seasons since the team was founded in 2016. Nate Loenser, now an assistant under Jim Boylen and the coach of the Bulls' 2019 Summer League team, was Windy City's inaugural head coach.
Windy City enjoyed their first winning season in 2019, going 27-23 under Henry and bowing out in the first round of the postseason to the Westchester Knicks.
Myriad injuries to the NBA's Bulls meant that a half dozen Windy City alums saw time on the United Center floor at the end of last season. Those players included Walt Lemon, Jakarr Sampson, Brandon Sampson, Ryan Arcidiacono, Rawle Alkins and Cristiano Felicio.