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Pacers vs. Bulls Preview: Pacers return home starved for a win

The Pacers and Bulls are fighting for the same space in the Eastern Conference standings.

Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers (23-25) are back home at the Fieldhouse to host the Chicago Bulls (22-24) on Tuesday night. The Pacers return from an 0-4 road trip which pushed their current losing streak to seven games, which is also the worst current losing streak in the league.

The Bulls have won their last three games and six of their last nine to essentially pull even with the Pacers for the last two play-in spots in the East. Due to games played, the Pacers have a 1/1000th winning percentage lead for the ninth spot. And yet, no one is happy.

The shine of the Pacers strong start has been diminished with this Tyrese Haliburton-less losing streak. As for the Bulls, with a critical trade deadline looming, they aren’t happy with their current position but when they look good, the idea of a fire sale seems a bit rash. On New Year’s Eve last season, DeMar DeRozan threw in a crazy game winner to beat the Pacers that started the Pacers front office making plans for a big move at the deadline. This game may end up having a similar “that’s enough” impact for the team that loses.

The Bulls beat the Pacers, 124-109 at the UC way back on Oct. 26, in the Pacers’ fifth game of the season which left the team at 1-4. The Pacers did go on a 10-3 stretch following that loss, so we know a solid stretch of winning is always just a win away from starting. But first, the Pacers have to win one.

DraftKings Odds: Bulls -2, O/U 233.5 (latest DraftKings odds here)

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

TV: Bally Sports Indiana/Bally Sports + app

Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM

Projected Starting Lineups:

Pacers: T.J. McConnell, Andrew Nembhard, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner

Bulls: Ayo Dosunmo, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Nikola Vucevic

Injuries

IND: Andrew Nembhard - questionable (non-COVID illness), Tyrese Haliburton - out (left elbow sprain/left knee bone contusion), Daniel Theis - out (right knee surgery)

CHI: Goran Dragic - questionable (non-COVID illness), Lonzo Ball - out (knee surgery), Javonte Green - out (knee surgery)

Please share your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.