Indiana Pacers Playoff Primer: Round 1 vs. Chicago Bulls

The time has come.

The moment for which the Indiana Pacers and their fan base have been waiting five years arrives today at 1 p.m. with Game 1 of the team’s first-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls, the Eastern Conference’s top seed, at United Center.

While just making the playoffs, particularly with a season record of 37-45, is a fine accomplishment in itself, the Pacers have a tremendous opportunity in front of them. If Indiana is competitive each night — certainly within the realm of possibility — it can take significant steps forward in reviving the “passion” and “pride,” so to speak, in and around Indianapolis. We’re going to take a look at the matchups and how the Pacers can go about doing that.

By Drew Allen

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What’s up with the Bulls Shooting Guard Options?

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I never thought the Chicago Bulls would miss Kirk Hinrich this much. But four games into the NBA season, (that means we’re 1/20th of the way through the season already) you can see how he mattered more than we thought he did last summer.

Keith Bogans, the second oldest guy on the Bulls behind Kurt Thomas, is the starter at the shooting guard position. Two new wings imported from Utah, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver, can also play at that spot.

All have their respective strengths and weaknesses, and so far no single player looks complete enough to be the true “first-string” two guard.

By Paul M. Banks

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Maybe the Bulls Will Start Making some 3s Now?

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Last season the Chicago Bulls finished dead last in the NBA in three point field goal percentage. In the summer they went out and got Kyle Korver from Utah. All he did was lead the league in three point shooting percentage. Actually he broke the NBA season record for three point percentage, with a .536 eclipsing that of former Bull Steve Kerr and his .524 in 1994-95.

Problem solved? Not yet, but it’s getting there.

Korver articulated the key to shooting the three ball.

“It’s practice. It’s mental, you got to believe in in your shot and shoot it like crazy and a short memory helps a lot,” he said.

By Paul M. Banks

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Bulls round out roster by signing Keith Bogans

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The Chicago Bulls announced today the signing of free agent guard/forward Keith Bogans. Sources say the deal for the University of Kentucky product is two years, with only one guaranteed. Bulls.com writer Sam Smith reported that the deal is worth about $2.5 million.

Bogans (6-5, 215) has been in the NBA for seven years, spending last season with San Antonio.

He played in every game but three for the Spurs last season, starting 50 games and averaging 4.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 19.7 mpg,  .403 fg%, .357 3pt fg%, 727 ft%. The Washington, D.C. native was selected in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft out of UK by the Milwaukee Bucks.

By Paul M. Banks

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Tubby Smith Not Letting Gophers Bubble Burst

By Mike Gallagher

The buzzer sounded, and the battle of two bubble teams ended with the Gophers coming out losers once again.

Surely their 77-74 overtime loss to Northwestern doomed their hopes of making the tournament, as they dropped to 14-10 (5-7) and still had two Big Ten stalwarts (Wisconsin, Purdue) coming to The Barn. [Read more…]

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