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Pistons host Bulls

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In a perfect world, I'd be at tonight's game for FanHouse. Also, in a perfect world, I would have spent 20 minutes clearing the small mountain of ice and snow left at the bottom of my driveway by the street plow instead of thinking, "I bet if I give it a little gas I can get right over that."

But alas, we live in the real world, where people who cut corners are punished by having to spend 90 minutes digging out their cars before realizing they're not going anywhere and will be watching the game on TV. So, yeah.

At least Kevin came through with another preview. Ball tips at 8 PM -- leave your thoughts in the comments.

By Kevin Sawyer

Bulls: 13-14 (3-11 road)
Margin: -2.1 ppg (-6.0 road)
Last 10: 5-5 (-1.4 margin)

Pistons: 14-11 (7-5 home)
Margin: -0.3 ppg (+2.0 home)
Last 10: 4-6 (-2.0 margin)

Oppo research:

Tonight, the Pistons get their first look at Derrick Rose. The rookie has adjusted quickly to NBA life, and has emerged as a leading contender for Rookie of the Year honors. Good thing, too, because the Bulls have picked up right where they left off during a disappointing 07-08 campaign.

The Bulls don’t do anything particularly well. Ostensibly a jump-shooting team, they are not prolific from behind the three point stripe. Once one of the league’s up and coming athletes, Luol Deng is reduced to settling for his sketchy midrange jumpshot more often than not. Andres Nocioni has morphed into a three-point specialist at an early age. And Larry Hughes plays a lot like that one guy who used to play with LeBron, but totally sucked.

On the interior, Tyrus Thomas remains an enigma, occasionally showing up for big games, but otherwise a non-factor. Their best rebounder, second-year center Joakim Noah, is glued to the bench due to a high foul rate.

I am generally puzzled by the team’s dismissive attitude toward Ben Gordon. He has long since emerged as their best player, yet continues to come up in trade rumors. Perhaps Kirk Hinrich’s extended absence has driven this point home to the Bulls brass.

The Drama:

Not much of any. This is a rivalry in name only at this point.

Keys for Detroit:

Control the temper: Joakim Noah only looks like Anderson Varejao. This is a lousy road team, and keeping composure should be enough to garner the W.

Mind the little guys: If you stop the Bulls guards, you stop the Bulls. The team doesn’t have a go-to option in the post. In fact, the Bulls arguably play as small as do the Pistons.

Go to the bigs: The Bulls don’t have the defenders to match up with Sheed, Dyess, Maxiell etc… The Pistons’ size up front should be sufficient to secure a rebounding advantage, and plenty of points in the paint. Conversely, this is the sort of team that can keep up with Detroit’s guards.

Question of the game:

Derrick Rose’s offensive game relies on dribble penetration. Is Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring mark in jeopardy? Or, more diplomatically, will Iverson respond to the disaster Atlanta?