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Open Game Thread: Pacers vs. Bulls

The Chicago Bulls visit the Fieldhouse this afternoon with the Pacers feeling good about themselves at home. Thanks to the sloppy state of the Eastern Conference the Pacers are still very much a factor to make the playoffs. In fact, as of today, they are in a virtual tie with the Nets and Magic for the final two spots. This after losing 12 of the last 14 games. The remaining schedule isn't easy, but a couple of wins this week would put the Pacers in good shape.

Check out the Bulls side of things over at Blog-A-Bull.

The New York Times chronicles the Pacers' problems in their Sunday edition today. Can't say that there is anything we haven't heard before. Just chronicling the franchise's struggles since the Palace Brawl and connecting all of the dots from past player behavior issues to the current downswing in attendance. There was this little nugget about the status of Carlisle's job.

Carlisle has the endorsement of the team president Larry Bird, his close friend and former Celtics teammate, who gave him an extension this season. But while there was speculation that Carlisle could be fired last month, the players' off-court problems probably saved his job, at least for now.

"The worst thing you could do," Walsh said about turmoil, "is change your coach."

I'm assuming that stance only holds for the rest of the season.

No TV for the game today, so it is up to Boyle and Slick to describe the action.