Pacers Links: Pacers look to warm up against Raptors, Bulls officially break up core by trading Deng

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers are coming off of a chilly shooting effort so maybe they'll warm up along with the viciously cold temps outside.

The Raptors are in town, landing a few hours before tip time, and the temperature is officially over zero, so the game is on at the Fieldhouse tonight. For those making the trek, roads remain an ice rink in most areas around time so give yourself plenty of time to get downtown.

The Pacers shot just 36% while struggling to put away the short-handed Cavaliers on Sunday, so they need a little home cooking tonight at BLF regardless of how many folks show up for the game. The Raptors outworked the Pacers on New Year's Day, delivering more physical, aggressive play to beat the Pacers at their own game in Toronto. This time around, the Pacers will have to establish their presence and earn those calls that go to the aggressor.

With all of the travel issues the Raptors have gone through, I'd expect them to play loose and free knowing they have some brutal circumstances to lean on if the game goes sideways on them. Like the Cavs playing without their top two point guards, the circumstances creates a dangerous situation requiring the Pacers full attention.

Also, the Bulls pulled the trigger on dealing Luol Deng (ahhhhh, exhale for not having to see Deng hit a late shot-clock jumper in red again) a free agent they didn't expect to keep after the season, for Andrew Bynum, a waivable big contract (oh, and center) who will end up somewhere else to end the year. Thus, the Bulls officially begin retooling their roster on the fly while Derrick Rose rehabs. Chicago also saves some cash to remain flexible while reloading and avoid luxury tax issues.

Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers vs Raptors | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Like Father, Like Son: Young McMillan Thriving in NBA | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Pacers look for payback against Raptors - 1070 The Fan

Raptors: ‘Work in progress’ Valanciunas climbing learning curve at rapid pace | Toronto Star

Payout May Come for an A.B.A. Team That Is Long Gone - NYTimes.com

From airballs to attacking the rim, Pacer F Danny Granger is improving every game - Indy Star

3 in the Key - Raptors vs Pacers Gameday Preview: Another Good Test for Dinos - Raptors HQ

Luol Deng rejected $30 million extension offer from Bulls before trade to Cavs - Yahoo Sports

Bulls trade Luol Deng to Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum - CBSSports.com

The Cavs Are Thinking Playoffs, the Bulls Are Thinking Ahead - The Triangle Blog - Grantland

Nuggets discuss trades for exiled guard Andre Miller - Yahoo Sports

Lakers waive forward Shawne Williams - Yahoo Sports

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