by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

One could argue that Wednesday night’s matchup in Indiana meant a lot more to the Pacers than it did the Chicago Bulls.

Derrick Rose recently dismissed talk of any kind of rivalry between the two teams, which seemed to fire Indy up.

After Paul George led the way in a dominant 97-80 win, the star forward now claims that Chicago is in the 5-0 Pacers’ rearview mirror.

Per NBA.com:

By holding the Bulls to 80 points on 35.6 percent shooting, the Pacers tightened their defensive screws to 84.4 points allowed and a 37.5 percent defensive field-goal percentage. They have won three straight at home against the Bulls and four of the past five meetings overall.

“We want to step away from that shadow as the ‘little brothers’ of this division,” George said. “Their success is the Michael Jordan era. This is a new age, this is a new team. It’s ours till they take it.”

The Pacers have come out of the gate firing on all cylinders, and have many reasons to feel confident. (The NBA championship talk has already begun in Indiana.)

It’s very early on in the season; Indiana looks a lot better than Chicago does at this point. Both teams, however, still have plenty of time to prove who are the true kings of the Central Division.