Of the many negative numbers from Wednesday's loss at Indiana, the worst might have been the Bulls scoring just 14 points in the paint. Their low for points in the paint last season was 22 against San Antonio.
"It's not necessarily just the points in the paint as much as it is the ball hitting the paint," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Your offense is going to function a lot better if the ball hits the paint before you shoot, whether it's dribble penetration or the post up. The numbers always bear that out. That's something that we talked about."
As an example of the ineffectiveness, Carlos Boozer started the night averaging 22.3 points and leading the league in field-goal percentage. Against the Pacers, he scored 6 points and hit 3 of 10 shots.
Rose case taped shut:
A medical tape controversy unfolded behind the scenes Wednesday. Derrick Rose told reporters at shootaround the league office informed him not to wear the tape on the back of his neck as he had the previous two games.
Then came a swift reversal by the NBA, in a statement by league spokesman Tim Frank. "After a discussion today with Jerry Stackhouse, representing the union, we have decided to allow Kinesio tape on an experimental basis so that we can take a fresh look at the possible benefits it might bring to our players."
Rose didn't wear the tape against Indiana, but said his sore neck was feeling better.
"In the morning, of course, it's kind of tough because you're sleeping in the pillows," Rose said. "Other than my neck, I'm good. My leg's good. My arms, overall health is all right. I've just got to get my neck loose."
Pacers make big plans:
Off to a 5-0 start, the Pacers talked about some big plans after Wednesday's victory, including replacing the Bulls as the Midwest's dominant franchise.
"We want to step away from that shadow as the 'little brothers' of this division," Indiana's Paul George told NBA.com. "Their success is the Michael Jordan era. This is a new age, this is a new team. It (the Central Division title) is ours till they take it."
Added coach Frank Vogel, "Five-and-0, that's a good start. But how we're playing is even more encouraging. I think we have a championship-level defense. And we've got enough offensive pieces to put it all together on the offensive end. So it will be an exciting year."