Returning home to Indianapolis, the Preseason Pacers moved to 3-0 with a double figure win over the Chicago Bulls, though from a game standpoint, it had its fair share of concerns. The Pacers played against a short-handed Chicago roster and were largely bailed out by the back-up Bulls’ inability to put the ball in the basket.
The Pacers held Chicago to just 37.6% shooting and 5-27 from three point range, which helped cover up Indiana’s chronic turnover issues. The Pacers struggled all night to control possession with 28 miscues, leading to a lopsided 30-13 defeat in points off turnovers. They would edge the Bulls in rebounding, but that again could be attributed to Chicago’s lack of shotmaking ability on the floor.
While the Bulls rested much of their regular rotation, there was no such directive for the Pacers, who logged nearly 30 minutes for each of their starters. Of Indiana’s six double figure scorers, four of them were the starters, led by T.J. Warren with 17. While Warren had a team high in scoring, he also led the team with six turnovers. The starters combined for 18 turnovers, including four each from Malcolm Brodgon and Jeremy Lamb, which took away from quick starts from both of them.
On the defensive end, Myles Turner made the most of his opportunity playing against backups, picking up five blocks to go with his 13 points, hitting a pair of threes, with the team finishing 12-34 from deep.
There goes last season's leader in blocked shots ✋ pic.twitter.com/kWbxXnui8a— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) October 12, 2019
Domantas Sabonis was the only starter to not finish in double figures, scoring eight on 3-12 shooting. Sabonis really struggled outside of the restricted area, going 0-8, including 0-4 from three point range. All four of Sabonis’s three point attempts were straight away from the top of the arc, but they came up so short they barely drew rim.
Off the bench, Doug McDermott led the way with 14, leading the way in the second quarter. McDermott was 3-7 himself from deep, and found extended success receiving the ball driving to the basket. Two of McDermott’s threes came from T.J. McConnell, who had four assists on the night to go along with seven rebounds. He finished with just four points on two shots, making it a tough call to put him ahead of Aaron Holiday in the rotation, Holiday being one of the few holdouts tonight.
After missing both games in India, T.J. Leaf made his preseason debut tonight, scoring seven in 15 minutes. Leaf looked not unlike he has in the past, playing well around the rim offensively, but still not providing much of a defensive impact. He as just 1-4 from the free throw line, complete with a real lack of arc on the shot.
Edmond Sumner reached double figures with 10, playing well late to up his scoring total, but his best play of the night was a hustle play where he saved his own near turnover to find Justin Holiday beyond the arc for a four point play.
That was the lone three of the night for Holiday, who was 1-5 from deep and 2-8 overall for six points, also leading the bench with four turnovers as well.
Giving the respective rosters for the game, the 105-87 victory seems the lead the Pacers should do, though how they got there wasn’t the most encouraging. There is a lot to clean up, especially in the way of turnovers, but it was also disappointing to see them only pull in six offensive rebounds after doing very well against Sacramento in India. They also had no real answer for Coby White, who scored 24 points on whoever happened to be guarding him.
The Pacers will close out preseason play on Tuesday, hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves.