Posted December 03, 2012 on
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With each team's star player out because of a knee injury, the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers have struggled to sustain consistent success.
Trying for a season-high third consecutive victory, the Bulls will be minus another starting guard Tuesday night when they look to continue their recent home dominance of the Pacers.
Chicago (8-7) expected to struggle at times while Derrick Rose recovers from a torn ACL, but it has won three of four following a three-game skid. Veteran Richard Hamilton, however, will join Rose on the inactive list for the time being because of torn tissue in his left foot.
Second on the team averaging 13.9 points, Hamilton hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final 20 seconds Saturday after sustaining the injury and finished with 15 points in the Bulls' 93-88 win over Philadelphia.
Though Hamilton's absence presents another obstacle for Chicago - Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler are the candidates to step in - the club remains confident.
"In the past three years with (coach Tom Thibodeau), we showed as the season went along we got better as a team," forward Luol Deng told the Bulls' official website. "I expect us as a team to improve. We're coming on to 20 games when teams start to show what they can do."
Deng had 25 points, seven assists and seven rebounds Saturday while Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah each scored 12 and combined for 25 boards. The Bulls held the 76ers to 3-of-12 shooting from 3-point range and outrebounded them 50-37, following up last week's rout of Dallas to win back-to-back games at the United Center for the first time this season.
Chicago has limited its last four opponents to an average of 86.3 points on 42.0 percent shooting after yielding 100.6 on 46.1 percent from the field while losing four of the previous five.
"The thing for us is to concentrate on improvement," Thibodeau said. "We are moving in the right direction. We are still not a 48-minute team. There were stretches where we played well defensively, we have to do it consistently throughout the game."
The Bulls have managed to consistently play well defensively while holding Indiana to 92.4 points per game on 42.0 percent shooting to win 14 of 16 at home in the Central Division rivalry, including playoffs. Deng has averaged 19.5 points on 49.1 percent shooting while playing in 13 of those games.
Indiana (8-9) continues to play without star Danny Granger, who is likely to miss another two months because of a left knee problem. Despite ranking near the bottom of the NBA with 90.9 points per contest, the Pacers have managed to hover around .500 because they are among the best in points allowed (91.9) while averaging a league-high 47.4 rebounds.
Indiana had won two in a row and five of seven before falling 103-92 at Golden State on Saturday. David West scored 23 points and George Hill added 19, but Paul George missed seven shots and did not score while the Pacers grabbed a season-low 36 boards.
Despite the defeat, West (17.8 ppg) continues to help fill the scoring void left by Granger. He's averaging 23.0 points on 58.5 percent shooting in his last six games.
"He's playing at an All-Star level right now," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "There's no other way to look at it. He's carrying the load."
West, however, has averaged 11.4 points on 32.4 percent shooting in his last five at Chicago.
BEST OF MAXIM
Bulls guard Richard Hamilton went down with a foot injury during the Sixers win on Saturday night. After getting an MRI, the Bulls received one of the better news one could get when talking about injuries. An injury to a plantar fascia could lead to months of recovery, but a tear could mean a comeback within a few weeks. Sam Smith of Bulls.com explains the process.Plantar fasciitis...
Derrick Rose was running sprints at the Bulls practice on Monday, and while he is still most likely out at least 2 more months, it’s nice to see him getting healthy:
According to ESPN:
The 24-year-old point guard started cutting again on his surgically repaired left knee a few weeks ago and was sprinting in bursts after practice on Monday afternoon. ”I think he looks really...
The Chicago Bulls say veteran guard Richard Hamilton has torn tissue in his left foot.
The team says an MRI on Sunday confirmed he tore the plantar fascia tissue and will return ''as his symptoms permit.'' Hamilton left Saturday's game against Philadelphia in the third quarter and returned to hit three of four free throws in the final 20 seconds, clinching a...
As if the Chicago Bulls had not battled through enough injuries this season, they are dealing with one more. Richard Hamilton injured his left foot last night and had to exit the game against the Philadelphia 76ers in the third quarter. It was bad enough that Hamilton was unable to walk off the court under his own power. He had to be helped to the bench by teammates. According...
Without Derrick Rose for the first half of the season (at least), the Bulls have relied on a collective effort on the offensive end to make up for their leading scorer. While the new bench is still adjusting to Thibodeau’s system, the starters are relied on heavily – everyone but Kirk Hinrich is averaging in double figures scoring. One of those bench members will have to step...
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau would not confirm reports Tuesday that Derrick Rose may be just a few weeks away from practicing , calling the All-Star point guard a “long ways away”. Rose, who was given a prognosis of 8-12 months of rehab after surgery on May 12, has recently been spotted running sprints in the Berto Center at the end of practices, which can only be a good thing...
If [Rip Hamilton's injury] is something, the Bulls do have a roster spot and we could see a return of Jannero Pargo. His agent, Mark Bartelstein, was quoted a week ago saying the Bulls were among several teams inquiring about Pargo, released by the Wizards. Also, Quentin Richardson is presumably hanging around along with another former De Paul player, Bobby Simmons. -Sam Smith
Can the Indiana Pacers ever win a championship with George Hill as their starting point guard? The answer to the question is debatable, but judging from the five-year, $40 million contract they gave him over the summer, Indiana’s chief decision-makers believed it was a resounding yes.
After finding themselves a few bounces of the ball away from an Eastern Conference...
CHICAGO -- Paul George hit just 2 of 18 shots during the last two games of Indiana's West Coast trip. So when the Pacers landed in Indianapolis after a red-eye flight from Oakland, George went straight to the gym for two hours of shooting. The extra practice paid off, as George poured in 34 points and Indiana won a defensive battle against Chicago 80-76 on Tuesday at the United...
Paul George scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to an 80-76 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
Roy Hibbert added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana, which closed a four-game trip with three victories.
The Bulls, who failed to win three straight for the first time this season, were able to keep David West, Indiana's leading scorer...
After chucking up a turd in the last game against the Warriors in his last game, Paul George came to play tonight against the Bulls in Chicago, putting up an efficient 34 points on 14-25 shooting to go with 9 rebounds as the Pacers survived with an 80-76 victory.
Importantly, the win puts the Pacers back to 0.500 at 9-9, which puts them in a three-way tie in the Central division...
CHICAGO -- Richard Hamilton was carried off the floor and into the locker room by a pair of Chicago teammates with 3:15 left in the third quarter on Saturday. He was diagnosed with a left foot sprain and felt well enough to check back in with 20.8 seconds remaining. Hamilton hit three free throws in the final moments to seal the Bulls' 93-88 victory over Philadelphia at the...