Bulls-Pistons Preview

Detroit Pistons Status Check:
Record: 6-14
Division: 1-0
Conference: 4-3
Home Record: 5-4
Last 10 Games: 5-5
Streak: Lost 1
Last game: 104-97 loss to Golden State
PPG: 93.2 (25th)
Opponents PPG: 96.2 (13th)
Offensive Rating: 101.8 (26th)
Defensive Rating: 105.1 (17th)
Pace: 91.6 (18th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .476 (18th)
Turnover Percentage: .149 (27th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .713 (25th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .273 (13th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .218 (12th)
Opp. eFG%: .472 (6th)
Opp. TO%: .129 (25th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .225 (22nd)
Leading scorer: Greg Monroe (15.4)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Pistons Injury Report:
Austin Daye: questionable (stomach virus)

Chicago is trying to win back-to-back games for just the third time this season, and they aren’t going to have a better chance for a while than against the Pistons.

Detroit’s record doesn’t look like much, at just 6-14, but they are 5-5 in their last ten games, and they are solid at home, going 5-4 in the Palace thus far (they are awful on the road, with a 1-10 record). Detroit strung those five home wins all in a row, and it was snapped in their last game, against Golden State.

The Pistons outrebounded the Warriors 44-35 overall and 15-9 on the offensive glass but it wasn’t enough as Klay Thompson scored 27 points and went 5-8 from deep. Golden State had 17 fastbreak points to the Pistons’ six and turned 17 Detroit turnovers into 16 points.

Tayshaun Prince dropped 24 points and dished five assists but none of the other starters hit double figures in scoring. Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler and Jason Maxiel combined to go 3-19 from the field for eleven points. That’s three-fifths of their starting lineup producing terribly on offense. Don’t expect that again, as Maxiel is shooting better than 50 percent this season and Singler is no slouch at 49 percent.

The bench did step up for the Pistons, led by Andre Drummond’s double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds). All four bench players that got minutes scored in double figures.

A bench that stepped up when the starters were struggling. I can’t imagine a team that could do that a lot, say for two years maybe. Oh wait. There was that one team that had a bench carry them for long stretches, but that’s ancient history now.

The Bulls swept the Pistons last year, holding Detroit to an average of 79.0 points per contest. Chicago’s defensive ratings in the four games were 92.1, 83.1, 91.5 and 94.0. That is amazing defense—paired with some horrible offense—that the Bulls played against the Pistons last season. In the closest game, a 100-94 Bulls overtime win, Kyle Korver recorded an offensive rating of 163 and a defensive rating of 97.

The “new, but not improved Korver” had his best game as a Bull against the Cavs. Marco Belinelli scored a game-high 23 points starting in place of Rip Hamilton. He was just 2-8 from deep but hit 5-7 two-point shots and made 7-8 from the free throw line.

It must have been “Stop Sucking” night in Chicago because Kirk Hinrich had a pretty solid game. Kirk scored eleven points and dished eight assists. It was just the fourth time all season he scored in double figures and the third time he shot better than 50 percent from the field. He’s shooting 33.8 percent from the field this season.

There wasn’t much stepping up by the bench in this one, as the reserves combined to score just 16 points. Noah played 44 minutes, Deng played 42 and Belinelli played 40. Welcome to the starting line-up, Marco.

Minutes are always an issue under Thobideau but it is even more so tonight, as the Bulls play the Knicks tomorrow night which will finish a stretch of four games in five nights. And this stretch of games coming up is going to be tough for the short-handed Bulls.

Stat of the night: The Bulls have won 15 straight against the Pistons, a streak dating back to 2008, and have beaten Detroit eight consecutive times in the Palace at Auburn Hills.

Stat early in the month: The Bulls are holding opponents to 40.9 effective field goal percentage through three games in December.

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