Houston Rockets vs Miami Heat Live Stream 2019 have had disappointing starts to the 2019-20 NBA season. For Chicago, it’s simply come down to their inability to close games. They’re 2-4 and three of their losses were at the hands of the Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers. What’s even worse is the Bulls squandered a double-digit lead in all three of those games.
The Pacers are in a different situation. They’re currently without their star, Victor Oladipo, as he recovers from a leg injury. Indiana just needs to keep its head above water as the team waits for the return of their star.Chicago is relatively healthy right now. Indiana, on the other hand, is pretty dinged up. In addition to the Oladipo injury, the Pacers are also trying to get through injuries suffered by two of their other key players, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner.
Turner is considered week-to-week and will not play against the Bulls. Sabonis is a game-time decision.
If the Pacers are left with Malcolm Brogdon and role players, there’s no reason why the Bulls shouldn’t dominate this game. They’ll enter with significantly more talent.Maybe this is blind optimism, but of course the Bulls can overcome the odds! The Pacers might be without three of their four best players and the Bulls are desperate to turn things around.
Indiana hasn’t impressed me so far in 2019-20 (to be fair, neither has Chicago), and afternoon games are always weird. The daily routines are thrown off when the games aren’t at night. Plus, with the injuries the Pacers are dealing with, the Bulls have better top talent and more depth on their roster.
Of course, you can never be too sure with this Bulls team. They’re painfully inconsistent.Through six games, White is averaging 12 points per game on rough .389/.281/.778 shooting splits. I’d like to see him get some more run with the first unit so he doesn’t have to be the primary scoring option while he’s on the floor. He’s an underrated passer and needs to be put in a playmaking role more often.
If Coby can turn things around and have a big game, the Bulls should be just fine. Indy’s bench isn’t exactly something to write home about.For the past two games, Bulls coach Jim Boylen has used forward Thaddeus Young for the majority of the fourth quarter. When the Bulls beat Detroit 112-106 on Friday at the United Center, Young played the entire fourth.
The issue was discussed here earlier this week. The Bulls have a young lineup that needs to learn how to win. Young is the most experienced player on the roster. But if he plays in the fourth quarter, who sits?The past two games, it was Lauri Markkanen, although there were extenuating circumstances Friday. Markkanen hobbled off the court with an injury to his left side with 9:30 remaining. Markkanen went to the locker room, returned to the bench and said he could have returned, but it was probably the right move not to take any chances.
The Bulls practiced Saturday at the Advocate Center before leaving for Indiana. Markkanen was a participant and is expected to play against the Pacers. Forward Chandler Hutchison (hamstring) made it through the full practice and could make his season debut Sunday.
Boylen was asked if the late-game lineup has become a dilemma on whether to play Young to get more experience on the floor.
“It’s not a dilemma for me if you want to have a good team,” Boylen said. “It’s not a dilemma for me if our guys understand that that’s how championship teams, playoff teams operate. You play your minutes and you play them for the team.
“Finishing the game is open to how the game is going and what the situation is. I think we’ve established that pretty well.”
Finishing games was a huge problem for the Bulls in the first two weeks of the season. They lost a 10-point lead in the final six minutes at Charlotte and watched the Knicks finish a game with a 15-0 run. At Cleveland on Wednesday, the Bulls led by 4 early in the fourth and were within 2 in the final two minutes, but lost 117-111.So Friday’s win counted as a breakthrough. The Pistons rallied from a 16-point deficit to take a brief 1-point lead with 3:46 left. This time Zach LaVine knocked down 3-pointers on consecutive trips and the Bulls held on from there.
Boylen has varied the fourth quarter lineups during the first six games. At Charlotte, he sent Young in to replace Wendell Carter Jr. for a few minutes. In the win at Memphis, rookie Coby White played the entire fourth quarter, while Kris Dunn played more than nine minutes.
“We have established since day one with this group, that we’re going to finish games with guys that we need to finish games with, whether you’re a starter or a bench guy or whatever,” Boylen said. “And you play those minutes. One night it will be your opportunity and maybe the next night it will be somebody else’s opportunity.”
Boylen disagreed with the notion that Markkanen should always play in the fourth quarter, since he’s one of the primary rebuilding blocks and needs that experience for his personal development.