We didn’t get the Bulls on Christmas this year, but we get them on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! It kind of stinks that today’s game is a 2:00 pm tip, but Bulls basketball on NYE is Bulls basketball on NYE. I guess I’ll just have to start my celebration a bit earlier, hopefully with a Bulls win in Indiana!
Let's say goodbye to 2021 with a W.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 31, 2021
Chicago Bulls at Indiana Pacers – 2:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV), and 670 The Score (Radio)
Stream the game online here with your cable provider.
1. Coby White
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Javonte Green
5. Nikola Vucevic
Injury Report: Patrick Williams OUT (Wrist), Lonzo Ball OUT (H&S P’s), Alfonzo McKinnie OUT (H&S P’s), Tony Bradley OUT (H&S P’s), Alex Caruso OUT (Foot)
1. Caris LeVert
2. Torrey Craig
3. Justin Holiday
4. Domantas Sabonis
5. Myles Turner
Injury report: Isaiah Jackson OUT (H&S P’s), Chris Duarte OUT (H&S P’s), Malcolm Brogdon OUT (H&S P’s), Jeremy Lamb OUT (H&S P’s), T.J. Warren OUT (Foot), T.J. McConnell OUT (Wrist)
What to Watch For …
• The Bulls dominated the Pacers for most of Monday night’s contest despite the score being closer than the game actually was thanks to the Bulls sleepwalking through the third quarter (as they tend to do from time to time this season). Thankfully, DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine were able to answer the bell early in the fourth quarter and help put the Pacers away for good and even the season series at a game-a-piece.
• DeMar DeRozan is averaging 18.6 points per game in 35 career games against the Indiana Pacers and has scored 24 (December 26) and 18 (November 22) against the Pacers this season. DeRozan enters tonight’s contest having scored 20 or more points in 10 consecutive appearances and is sixth in the NBA in scoring at 26.8 points per game.
• The Pacers shot just 8-of-30 from three-point range in Sunday night’s loss to the Bulls, which jives with their 27th-ranked three-point percentage (32.5%) for the season. The Pacers also rank in the middle of the league with 35.4 three-pointers attempted per game, a head-scratcher for sure, but if Indiana wants to spend the afternoon chucking up 35 shots that they’re not good at, the Bulls defense should be ready and willing to push them into those shots.
• Is this the Nikola Vučević revenge tour? It sure seems like it. The veteran big man has logged three consecutive double-doubles entering tonight’s contest and four in his last five games as he has started to find his footing after a very inconsistent start to the season. Vooch is averaging 18.7 points and 17.3 rebounds per game during his recent stretch of double-double performances, and a 17 rebound performance tonight will go a long way towards a Bulls win, especially if the Pacers are going to insist on volume shooting from deep.