The Pacers were road tough on Friday night, shaking off several losing indicators to collect a valuable 116-105 win over the Bulls. This turned out to be a quality culture win for the Pacers considering the circumstances facing the team in month of January which produces many wild results around the league.
Would you believe the Pacers won if I told you they without Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon, both parts of the team’s lethal pick n’ roll combo?
How about if you knew the Pacers would make just 4 of 21 three-point shots in the first three quarters while Zach LaVine and Coby White would combine to make 13 of 23 three balls for the game? LaVine had 43 points!
What if you knew T.J. McConnell and Jeremy Lamb would start in the backcourt and combine for 6 points?
How could the Pacers win such a game even against a struggling Bulls team?
Well, for starters, Myles Turner stepped up to fill the star void with Sabonis and Brogdon out. Turner delivered 27 points and 14 rebounds, leading the team’s bucket brigade around the hoop. After the game, Turner mentioned playing “like the good old days” in reference to being the only center on the court.
The Pacers scored 70 points in the paint to offset the 3-point differential with the Bulls.
Oh, and during winning time the Pacers took control with some big threes from the Holiday brothers, Edmond Sumner and Doug McDermott who were part of fourth quarter barrage that saw the Pacers make 7 of 9 threes down the stretch.
Aaron Holiday has been struggling lately starting for Brogdon, so Nate McMillan moved the dynamic guard back to the bench and he ended up playing starters minutes while putting up 19 points (on 9 shots) and 8 assists.
Doug McDermott only made two threes but was able to get in the lane and finish which left him with 16 points off the bench.
The Pacers bench scored and even half of the Pacers 116 total points which further emphasizes the balanced effort put forth to secure the win at the United Center. Again, a strong culture win for a team handed several excuses to roll over and lose and instead stood up and found a way to win.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler still hearing about TJ Warren from fans in Brooklyn. Didn’t know Nets fans had it in ‘em!