The Indiana Pacers dropped their final preseason game to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night in South Bend. No harm in losing to the Bulls, a team that remain talented and consistently prepared to play under Tom Thibodeau even without Derrick Rose.
Fortunately this was a meaningless preseason game, but what we saw from the Pacers to start the game could generate meaningful concern if it carries over to the regular season. The Bulls just outworked the Pacers in the first quarter which set the tone for the game. Quick to loose balls, beating the Pacers on the glass, winning the battle of little things that help tip the game toward the winner.
A stark reminder that the Pacers have plenty of talent in place but remain a team that has to play with energy. They need to take the fight to opponents and then execute as a team unit. Frank Vogel's "smashmouth" philosophy encompasses all of those things combined. It isn't merely being physical as a team, but being relentless in attacking at both ends of the floor. Wearing out opponents with effort.
On Friday, the Bulls were the "smashmouth" that had the Pacers chasing them from behind all night. At least the Pacers showed some fight to work their way back within one possession late in the fourth quarter. Since the loss didn't matter, that effort to work through the final buzzer was nice to see. Too bad it came too late.
Check out the links:
- Pacers at Bulls - Box score and highlights
- Game Rewind: Pacers 90, Bulls 97 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
- Pacers Insider: Injuries to Hill, Granger create questions for starting lineup | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Pacers notebook: Hibbert unhappy with NBA's decision to omit center position in All-Star voting | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- The Associated Press: Robinson helps Bulls beat Pacers at Notre Dame
- Video Rewind: Pacers 90, Bulls 97 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
- Pacers are a "Player-Owned Team" | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
- Preseason Bulls vs. Pacers final score: Nate Robinson leads a wire-to-wire victory over division rival - Blog a Bull
- Bulls-Pacers: Chicago Bulls close out preseason with their best exhibition yet - fox59.com
- Pacers: The post-preseason Eastern Conference rankings | Pacers Insider | The Indianapolis Star | IndyStar.com
- Pacers’ Gerald Green jumps so high his entire head is above the rim | The Point Forward - SI.com