Pistons-Bulls Preview

Detroit Pistons Status Check:
Record: 2-3
Division: 1-2
Conference: 2-3
Home Record: 2-1
Streak: Won 2
Last game: 89-78 win over Orlando
PPG: 87.6 (27th)
Opponents PPG: 91.6 (8th)
Offensive Rating: 101.7 (19th)
Defensive Rating: 106.3 (24th)
Pace: 86.1 (30th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .479 (17th)
Turnover Percentage: .162 (28th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .741 (14th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .272 (12th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .198 (21st)
Opp. eFG%: .501 (24th)
Opp. TO%: .146 (12th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .259 (14th)
Leading scorer: Ben Gordon (18.0)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Detroit Pistons Injury Report:
Tayshaun Prince: Day-to-day (played against Orlando)
Charlie Villanueva: Day-to-day (played one minute in Monday’s win over Orlando)

After Chicago backed into a win last night, they travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons.

Watching the game last night against Atlanta was painful. Heck, even looking at the box score makes me want to gouge out my eyes. And that goes for both teams. In the first three quarters, the Bulls couldn’t make a shot if it had been full of the finest tequila. The refs discussed lowering the rim to make it easier for both teams to score.

It took until the fourth quarter for the Bulls to actually look like they wanted to win. Or maybe the Hawks got tired in the fourth, as they were playing the second night of a back-to-back against two very good teams (two normally good teams; Chicago was not very good last night). Atlanta had their chances, but couldn’t convert from the free throw line, shooting 14-25 (56%) and going 1-4 in the final 20 seconds. This is the second time this season Chicago has benefitted from their opponents’ inability to hit freebies late in the game (see Lakers’ McRoberts, Josh and Gasol, Pau).

But the Bulls won. And now they turn their attention to Detroit. And honestly I feel bad for Detroit. Not the city, because Eminem is fixing the city on his own. But for the team…and not because they are a bad basketball team, but because Chicago usually comes back from games like this very hungry.

I say this, but I would have never expected the Bulls to shoot 27.8 percent for three-quarters of a game.

On the other hand, Detroit is coming off of two wins, against two pretty good teams (Orlando and Indiana). But the Pistons are also coming off eleven straight losses to the Bulls. The last time Detroit topped Chicago was December 23, 2008. It was a dark Tuesday. Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson were starters on that Pistons team.

More recently, the Bulls beat the Pistons all four times last season. In the first matchup, just the third game of the season for Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 39 points and dropped seven dimes, but he also had seven turnovers. In the second game, it was Carlos Boozer going off, scoring 31 points on 12-20 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds.  In game three, Rose and Boozer shared the points, scoring 29 and 27 respectively. In the final game of the series, Rip Hamilton scored 30 for the Pistons in a losing effort, but he will be in a new jersey for this one…or possibly a new suit. Perhaps Brooks Brothers.

Rose averaged 29.5 points, 7.3 assists and 6.5 rebounds against the Pistons in 2010-2011. He got to the free throw line 9.8 times per game when facing Detroit, his second best average against any team last season (he averaged 11 trips per game against Memphis).

And while Chicago profited from playing Atlanta on the second night of back-to-backs, tonight it may be some of the Bulls that get the tired legs. Derrick Rose and Luol Deng both played 44 minutes. Kyle Korver played 29 minutes and Omer Asik played 28 minutes. Last night was the second most minutes Asik played in a game. He played 31 minutes against Orlando last season; a game in which he actually fouled out.

But the Bulls will also have some fresh guys. Joakim Noah played just 16 minutes (and killed my fantasy team in the process). Taj Gibson played 24 minutes and Ronnie Brewer logged 23. Also Rip Hamilton may be back in the line-up after missing Chicago’s previous two games.

No matter what happens, it can’t be worse than last night’s game right. Right!?

No rest for the weary: The Bulls were 18-5 last year with no rest and are 1-1 this year.

Twitter: Also be sure to follow us on Twitter for live tweeting of some games and more interaction @BullsbytheHorns.

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