NBA Picks: Pacers vs Bulls Odds, Prediction and Live Score
The Bulls and the Pacers should be solid teams throughout the year, but neither of them appear ready to challenge top contenders on a regular basis. Both squads will attempt to outperform expectations, utilizing the regular season to discover the full range of benefits derived from their off-season acquisitions. After nearly beating the Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors, the Pacers pinpointed offence, in particularly bench production, as a key to making it back to the eastern conference finals against LeBron. Chicago simply hopes to make the playoffs using band-aid solutions.
Chicago Bulls vs Indiana Pacers Pick
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The Pacers opened their season with an impressive win against the Dallas Mavericks, whose starting lineup consists of two-fifths of last year’s starters for the Golden State Warriors. Myles Turner ended up having a beastly game, scoring 30 on 13-19 shooting from the field, which signals his potential readiness to contribute at a high level. As a skilled big with a smooth jumper, Turner’s one of the new wave of bigs capable of stretching defences to the brink.
A bit fortunate to play their opener against a team on the rear end of a back-to-back, the Chicago Bulls nonetheless showed surprising cohesion and timely shooting, including four triples from Dwayne Wade. D-Wade has never been a consistent three-point bomber, so fans shouldn’t expect this type of long range production on a regular basis. If anything, the Pacers will sag off Rondo to reduce the number of clean looks and driving lanes available to Wade and Butler, potentially stifling the Bulls offence.
With the addition of Teague and the under-the-radar blossoming of Myles Turner, Paul George has never enjoyed this level of offensive support with the Pacers. This could be the first Pacers team in a long while to feature a genuinely dangerous offensive lineup. It remains to be seen if Monta Ellis and Teague will end up being too much of a liability on defence to push the Pacers into the top ranks of the NBA.
The Bulls face the potential of a truly disastrous year if Wade’s body gives out on him and Rondo repeats his controversial behaviour instead of focusing on winning. On the other hand, if these two manage to complement Bulter, the Bulls have enough talent to surprise the NBA this season, including Mirotic, Portis, Robin Lopez, McDermott and Taj Gibson. For the time being, expect inconsistency from the Bulls, allowing the Pacers to earn wins on back to back nights.
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Coach Fred Hoiberg dealt with a lot of criticism last year, including harsh words from Jimmy Butler, who suggested that their coach was letting players get away with poor on-court efforts. A few years ago, the Bulls appeared to be rising to the top of the association, especially before Derrick Rose suffered his career-altering series of injuries. Previous coach Tom Thibodeau had the team ready for a deep playoff run, but injuries simply depleted the roster beyond strategic compensation. Few predicted the Bulls current situation, relying on free agent veterans to get by.
The Pacers were in a similar situation with their previous coach, Frank Vogel, who couldn’t be blamed for the hand he was dealt by basketball management. However, instead of signing ancient vets, the Pacers signed a younger free agent, giving new coach Nate McMillan a fighting chance at genuine improvement. Few teams are blessed with a superstar of Paul George’s status, so Indiana would be wise to continue surrounding him with support.
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