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Game Thread #30: Indiana Pacers at Chicago Bulls

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Indiana Pacers
9-20 11-17
December 29, 2009 - 8:00PM EST
United Center
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
Earl Watson PG Derrick Rose
Dahntay Jones SG Kirk Hinrich
Mike Dunleavy SF Luol Deng
Troy Murphy PF Taj Gibson
Roy Hibbert C Joakim Noah

The Indiana Pacers remain on the road but close to home when they take on the Chicago Bulls tonight. This may be the first game in NBA history played while both coaches worked with Bunsen burners on full flame under their seats.

Reports have been flying out of Chicago over the past couple days about Vinny Del Negro's tenure as Bulls coach coming to an end. Of course, VDN has labeled those reports innacurate but it seems like management would like to have a coach lined up before firing Del Negro. Makes sense being that someone should try to, you know, coach the team.

Blog a Bull has it all covered in entertaining fashion which also indicates the unique atmosphere the Pacers will be playing in tonight at the UC.

Of course, the Pacers bring their own drama to the party, with Jim O'Brien trying to coble together a solid 48-minute effort from his team all in the same game, as opposed to spreading out 48 minutes of good play over three games.

One or both of these teams may very well play out of their mind tonight, masking the distratctions for at least a night. Of course, more people will be tuning in because there's a good possibility one or more of these teams may snap under the pressure with players and/or coaches creating an infamous highlight clip for generations of fans to enjoy in hindsight.

So with that, please leave your thoughts and observations in the comments. My vacation has taken a detour to the hospital as my mother has taken ill (positive thoughts, please), so I'll be LP Broadbanding this one at some point but probably not live. Also, pop open an extra browser to keep up with Bruno's Live Blog.

After the jump, a few links of interest including Bruno's Scouting Report.