Pacers Links: Pacers roll past Bulls with focus on execution

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers gathered a big home over the Bulls in front of an appreciative sellout crowd at the Fieldhouse thanks to a renewed emphasis on execution on both ends of the floor.

Before and after the Pacers put up their impressive win over the Bulls on Saturday night, a game which saw every starter score in double figures with field goal attempts almost evenly disbursed, Frank Vogel made the point that team's lack of ball movement wasn't the fault of the guy holding the ball. Instead, execution with strong cuts and even better screens was needed to create an open players to move the ball.

So the plan wasn't to spread things around evenly, but just execute. The equity throughout the box score was just the result of vastly improved execution.

All the little things have to work together to have a big night which is how the Pacers put together a few big runs against the Bulls to eventually run away in the second half. Both the revamped reserve unit in the first half and the starters were able to create quality scoring opportunities and open shots in a game that was a grind between two energetic defensive teams.

The 27 assists, led by a combined 17 dimes from Paul George and Evan Turner (I know!), was more than the team had combined (25) in their last two games.

With the offensive burden spread around the court, the Pacers defense returned to their league-leading devastating identity with length and active hands disrupting passing lanes and Roy Hibbert protecting the bucket. The result was the first opponent under 80 points and a field goal percentage under 40 percent since beating the Magic on Feb. 3. The stingy effort made the 12-point win feel closer to 20, much like the 6-point loss in New York felt like a double-digit drubbing.

The game played out like a big exhale as things progressively improved throughout the 48 minutes. As Vogel admitted after the game, the effort served as a reminder to the player that they can indeed get back to playing like they did earlier in the year.

"Yeah, actually, I do,'' Vogel said when asked it the team made a statement to itself. "We did remind ourselves who we are - in terms of being a potentially suffocating defensive team that plays together on the offensive end and shares the basketball, and has a lot of weapons.''

The good feelings won't last long if the Pacers throw up another clunker on the road Saturday night in Memphis. Fatigue shouldn't be an issue since the Pacers likely made it to Memphis before the Grizzlies returned home from Miami after a hard-fought loss to the Heat. Memphis lost a nice lead after Marc Gasol left the game with an ankle injury which will have him questionable to play against the Pacers.

Check the links:

Bulls at Pacers - Box score

Game Rewind: Pacers 91, Bulls 79 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Pacers Share a Happy Meal | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Game Preview: Pacers at Grizzlies | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Luis Scola's 19 points leads Pacers past Bulls, 91-79 - Indy Star

Kravitz: For one night at least, Pacers get groove back - Indy Star

Bulls outlasted by Pacers in physical affair | CSN Chicago

Bulls' Taj Gibson: Pacers have 'a lot of floppers' | CSN Chicago

Pacers take rough-and-tumble victory from Bulls - chicagotribune.com

Pacers beat Bulls in another testy battle - Chicago Sun-Times

Don’t expect Pacers to pace themselves " Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith | NBA.com

Bulls vs. Pacers final score: Indiana uses 19-0 run to beat Chicago, 91-79 - Blog a Bull

Game Recap: Memphis Grizzlies can't summon full grind against Miami Heat - Grizzly Bear Blues

Post-Game Grades: The Pacers Appear to Enjoy Playing with Each Other Again - 8 Points, 9 Seconds

TheJayGravesReport.com: Baby Steps (Why Pacers fans just need to be happy Roy got out of the ride against the Bulls)

Mr. Pacer: Pacers bullish in this win

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