Detroit Pistons 92, Chicago Bulls 75: What did we learn?

Let’s be real for a second: Last night sucked. This whole season has sucked, but a 17-point loss to a division rival at home without three starters is a pretty low point. Not as low as the 39-point shellacking by the Los Angeles Clippers two days after Derrick Rose went down, or as low as the loss to the woeful Utah Jazz the day after that, but pretty low.

The Detroit Pistons won last night, 92-75. They deserved to win, mostly by virtue of not starting four players (Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Tony Snell and Kirk Hinrich, in this instance) who went a combined 9/45 from the field. They pounded the Chicago Bulls on the glass (51-44) despite the Bulls starting three big men in Boozer, Noah and Taj Gibson. The Bulls as a team shot 33.3 percent from the field, which honestly is higher than I expected it to be.

Anyway, let’s get on to what we learned.


I don’t know whether his abortive trip to the D-League served as a wakeup call or what, but Teague’s been downright competent the last two games. He couldn’t make shots against the Miami Heat on Thursday, but he generally made good plays. Then last night, he slapped up 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists on 4/8 from the field with 0 (ZERO) turnovers in 17 minutes. And I’m going to point out that two of those misses from the field were on very difficult runners at the end of quarters.

Meanwhile, there’s Kirk Hinrich.

If Kirk really is going to play more than twice as many minutes as Teague while he’s busy shooting 10 percent from the field with more turnovers than assists — not to mention getting torched by Brandon Jennings at the other end — then I quit.

2. Taj Gibson is a god.

Taj was the only starter last night who didn’t utterly suck. 21 points on 20 shots is far from ideal, but I’ll take a 21 and 10 night from the guy, thank you very much. Starting as the nominal small forward with Luol Deng out, he bullied Josh Smith in the post early on, which confuses me in ways I find difficult to explain.

If we get nothing else out of this season, we’ll at least have the knowledge that Taj Gibson is ready to be a starting power forward in the NBA once Boozer’s gone.

3. Tony Snell struggled, but I still like him.

3/12 from the field and 0/3 from downtown is pretty bad. I admit that. But everyone’s going to have off nights and I like his willingness to shoot when he’s open. The Bulls, historically, have had a number of guys who will get the ball and decline an open shot for no real reason. Snell is not that guy. If he’s open from outside, that ball’s probably going up. And given that he seems mostly capable of hitting them, I’ll take that.

That’s all I got. This season got depressing again in a hurry after Thursday. Alas. Bulls have tonight and tomorrow off before they take on the hapless Milwaukee Bucks at home on Tuesday.

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