Will Pacers Embarras the Bulls Again? Play-In Picture, NCAA Scoring Record, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Will Pacers Embarrass the Bulls Again? Play-In Picture, NCAA Scoring Record, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I shivered when I saw Bulls-Pacers on the calendar today.

Bring on the pain.

  • Who’s ready to have their Sunday ruined!? The Chicago Bulls will face the Pacers this afternoon at the United Center. A win for Indiana would erase the Bulls’ one-game lead with just a little over a month remaining in the NBA season. Considering the Pacers have gone just 3-7 in their last 10 games and rank 25th overall in Net Rating, this feels like a game the Bulls should win. However, my idiot self has said that many times before! Plus, we’ve already seen Chicago drop two straight to Indiana, blowing a lead of 21+ in each of the last two games. *vomits*
  • This Pacers squad just doesn’t take their foot off the gas … which is the opposite of what we’ve been able to say about the Bulls. In fact, they only seem to ramp up their level of intensity on both ends of the floor as the game goes on. Not to mention, with guys like Buddy Hield, Myles Turner, and Tyrese Haliburton, they have three players who are shooting 40.0 percent or better from behind the arc. Add in the fact that they share the ball remarkably well and get out in transition as quickly as anyone in the league (first in fastbreak points), and it’s not hard to understand why they’re able to erase such big leads.
  • Haliburton, the team’s All-Star point guard, has entered the day “questionable” on the NBA’s official injury report. While not having him available would definitely be a plus for Chicago, let’s not forget that they blew their first 21-point lead to a Haliburton-less Pacers team.
  • The Chicago Bulls are hanging onto their Play-In Tournament hopes by a thread. There are still 18 games left to string together some victories, but their chances of playing past April 9 rest heavily in the hands of the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors. The Raptors currently sit 9th in the East and 2.5 games ahead, while the Wizards currently sit 10th with a 1.5-game lead.
  • Fortunately for the Bulls, the Wizards had a chance to gain even more ground last night and failed, losing a stiff OT battle with Toronto. Washington also has tough matchups with Milwaukee (x2) Philly, Cleveland, Sacramento, Denver, and Boston remaining on their schedule. As for the Raptors, Tankathon currently lists them as having the single-toughest strength of schedule the rest of the way. But, still, anything more than a full-game lead is a valuable cushion at this point in the year. And this is particularly true for a team like the Raptors who hold the tiebreaker advantage over the Bulls.
  • Do you want to know something absolutely bonkers? Pete Maravich’s NCAA scoring record is at risk. Pistol Pete dropped 3,667 points during his 83 games in college, which meant he averaged roughly 44 points per contest (*head explodes*). It’s a record that has surely felt like it would stand the test of time, but a fellow by the name of Antonie Davis is just 4 points shy of becoming the NCAA’s new all-time leading bucket-getter.

  • Who is this Antonie Davis, you ask? Well, he plays for a little school called Detroit Mercy in the Horizon League. The university has a total enrollment of a little over 5,000, per their website, and Davis has played at the school for five seasons. He has averaged a career-high 28.2 points per game this year, and all he needed earlier this week was to 26 points to break Maravich’s record in the last game of the regular season. He scored 22 points.
  • It’s very possible that Davis ends his NCAA career just shy of the record, but there is still a chance for his team to earn an invite to a postseason tournament. White the NCAA tourney is out of the question with a 14-19 record, there are other options out there. Anyway, ESPN wrote more about Davis’ finishing his recent game just under the record here.
  • Even if Davis did go on to drop 26 points on Thursday, he likely wasn’t going to get a nationally-recognized round of applause. As crazy as the achievement is, we can’t deny (1) how many more games Davis played and (2) the fact that he had the benefit of a 3-point line. Maravich dropped all those buckets before the arc ever existed. What a legend.
  • Ja Morant was suspended two games for flashing a gun in a recent Instagram Live video. The Grizzlies’ superstar guard released a statement on Saturday shortly after the news broke:

  • The Milwaukee Bucks’ 16-game winning streak came to an end last night. The 76ers went on to outscore them an insane 48-31 in the 4th quarter to earn the victory. I watched most of that battle, and I wouldn’t at all be disappointed if that ended up being our Eastern Conference Finals series. Embiid vs. Antetokounmpo makes for good TV.

  • The combine is doing wonders for the value of the No. 1-overall pick!

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.