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Now the fun starts. After a very memorable regular season that saw the Bulls surpass all of our expectations, it’s time to start the second season. Saturday at noon the ball will go up at the United Center and the NBA postseason will be underway. The usual postseason chatter has began a little bit, although I doubt you’ll ever hear much coming from the Bulls mouths. They don’t seem like that type of team, maybe Joakim, but I can’t see the rest of them doing too much talking. Danny Granger has said if they stop Derrick the bulls don’t have much else and the rest of the team is taking the “us against the world” mentality. That’s fine. Any added fuel to the fire is fine by me. Let’s see how guys like Luol, Carlos, and Joakim respond.

Like most games where one team is clearly superior on paper to the other, I think it’s important for the Bulls to jump on the Pacers early and send them a message in game one. Make it clear to them that they don’t belong. They may be coming in with a little bit of confidence after their overtime win against us last month in Indiana. If we play at all like we did in one of our first three games against Indiana it should send a clear message that this isn’t going to be much of a series.

I also think that it is key to get Boozer and Noah going early. They’re both going to be important players for us in the postseason. Carlos has had some really good games against Indiana this year. I would love to see that continue in this series and give him a boost heading in to the second round. Joakim has been so banged up this year, but he hasn’t played like himself recently. The postseason has brought out the best in him so far in his early career. The Boston series two years ago was kind of like a coming out party for him and he was a monster last year against Cleveland. He’s probably the player I will be watching closest in this series. I would absolutely love to see him get it going. We don’t need anything spectacular out of him, but I would love to see a double-double. Seems pretty reasonable.

Other than that, I just want to see what we’ve been seeing all year and we’ll be fine. Let’s get everyone’s feet wet and keep the good vibes going. Thibs doesn’t necessarily have to play the bench as many minutes as he did in the regular season since they’re won’t be any back-to-backs to worry about. It will be a little interesting to see how he handles the rotation since the “Bench mob” has been so good for us this year. I have full confidence that Thibs will handle it correctly, though. He’s earned my confidence.

Stat of the Day:

In the Bulls 3 wins over the Pacers this season they outscored Indiana by an average of 17.6 points.

Probable Indiana Starters:

G – Darren Collison 13.2 PPG

G – Paul George, 7.8 PPG

F – Danny Granger, 20.4 PPG

F – Tyler Hansbrough, 11.0 PPG

C – Roy Hibbert, 12.7 PPG

Probable Chicago Starters:

G – Derrick Rose, 25.0 PPG

G – Keith Bogans, 4.4 PPG

F – Luol Deng, 17.4 PPG

F – Carlos Boozer, 17.5 PPG

C – Joakim Noah, 11.7 PPG

Prediction:

Current Line: Chicago -11, Over/Under 188.5

The Bulls are the better team here. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. If they play the type of basketball they played all season long there is no reason why they shouldn’t win this series with ease. Rose and Boozer have had great games against Indiana this season, and I think the Pacers will continue to have a hard time slowing those two down. Sorry Danny Granger, there goes your game plan. The game will be played in front of a raucous crowd at the UC, where the Bulls have been amazing this year. The Bulls play their game and win this one without making us nervous at all.

Bulls 102 Pacers 83