After a pair of impressive offensive showcases, the Pacers had their lowest output of the preseason, scoring 105 in a 121-105 loss to the Chicago Bulls. The Pacers were easily missing Paul George, who had the night off for rest, as Chicago shot a comfortable 51% with 10 three pointers. It didn't help that the Bulls lived at the line, shooting 33-42 to Indiana's 15-23.
Indiana did shoot 50% on the night despite early turnover issues and a woeful first half from behind the arc. Without George (and C.J. Miles), the Pacers got a glimpse of a dangerous future; one without any three point shooters. In the first half, the Pacers were just 1-6 from deep, but finished the night with eight total, thanks in part to four fourth quarter triples from Georges Niang, who played out of his mind in the final quarter, scoring all 16 of his points.
Myles Turner returned to action, looking solid in his preseason debut. Turner hit his first jumper as part of a six point, four rebound, two block night. Turner was limited to 15 minutes, but all signs pointed to him progressing in a big way.
✋ by Myles (on WGNTV) https://t.co/vfe6lTVEnc— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) October 9, 2016
Aaron Brooks also made his debut in a much less stellar fashion, scoring four points on 1-8 shooting, committing five fouls in 22 minutes. Jeff Teague was active offensively, leading the Pacers with 21 points, 12 of those coming on layups as Monta Ellis had six assists to lead the team. Glenn Robinson III started in place of George, scoring 17 points. Robinson appears to have made a step forward heading into this season, but despite a solid night offensively, wasn't quite the defensive juggernaut George is.
While it may be difficult for the Pacers to score 115 every night, there's a realistic chance that if Indiana doesn't, their opponens will. Even in preseason the Pacers can't be caught allowing 121 points if they expect to improve their win total in a meaningful way. Especially when Dwyane Wade is made to look comfortable (scoring 21 points, three three pointers), Jimmy Butler feasts at the free throw line (9-10 in the first half), and Taj Gibson scores 20 points on a perfect 9-9 night from the floor).
After three games in five nights to kick off the preseason, Indiana will get a few days to catch their breath before they play again on Wednesday, when they play the Milwaukee Bucks in Evansville. It will be the second of two preseason games broadcast by Fox Sports Indiana.