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Granger returns to action, while Dunleavy sits for Pacers
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Feb 24
By Adam Fluck
Danny Granger will be back in action for Wednesday’s Bulls-Pacers game at the United Center, Indiana head coach Jim O’Brien confirmed approximately 90 minutes before tip-off.
When asked if he expected Granger at full strength, O’Brien replied: “I don’t think there is any reason he won’t be. He played a key role in our beating Houston [on Feb. 20] and had a great game against them with 36 points. He’s been off his feet since that game taking care of some personal matters, but it’s good to get him back into uniform.”
The Pacers, however, will be without Mike Dunleavy, who fell victim to a case of food poisoning and will not play on Wednesday.
“It makes them better,” Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro said of Granger’s return. “He’s a good player. You’ve got to find him in transition. He scores the ball, scores easily, and has an effect on the game. We’ve just got to be ready to play. We know who is out there; we just have to guard them and execute our plan.”
Earlier this month, the Bulls won at Indiana to move back to .500 (25-25) and kept Granger in check. Though he finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds, Granger connected on just nine-of-23 shots from the field. Del Negro credited Luol Deng for his effort that night and hopes for more of the same this week. Not only will the Bulls host the Pacers tonight, they’ll visit Indiana on Saturday.
“I thought Luol did a good job on him,” Del Negro said of Chicago’s 109-101 win on Feb. 6. “With a guy like Danny, you’ve got to find a way to stop him in transition and take away his easy scores. They go to him a lot and try to post him up. We’ve got to put some pressure on him offensively and make him guard a little bit. The big thing with Indiana is you have to have good transition defense.”
The Bulls lead the all-time series with the Pacers 80-71 and are 52-21 against Indiana in the Windy City. Since the 2003-04 season Chicago has gone 10-3 against the Pacers at the United Center.
The Bulls have won or split the season series versus the Pacers the last five seasons; the two teams have split the season series the last two seasons.
Against the Pacers last year, Derrick Rose averaged 16.5 ppg, 7.5 apg and 6.8 rpg. In three contests against the Bulls, Granger paced Indiana with averages of 26.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg in 37.3 mpg.
Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on Danny Granger being back on the floor for the Pacers and the keys to being a successful defensive team (02.24.10):
TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR FESTABULLS AT THE SHEDD AQUARIUM
Tickets for the most anticipated charity dinner auction in Chicago are still available! The 21st annual FestaBulls, presented by Verizon Wireless, will be held in the evening on Monday, March 8 at a new location – the Shedd Aquarium.
This year, fans will get to mingle and dine with their favorite Bulls’ players and legends while also enjoying all the exhibits and aquatic life at the Shedd Aquarium. They will also have a chance to own a piece of sports history by purchasing one of the many valuable items up for bid in the live and silent auctions.
Tickets are $250 each and can be purchased at Bulls.com/festabulls. Each guest will receive gifts from both the Bulls and the Shedd Aquarium. Additionally, VIP tickets which include an exclusive pre-event reception with players, coaches and Bulls legends are also on sale. Tickets can also be purchased by contacting the Bulls at 312.455.4122 or CR@bulls.com.