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Pistons vs. Bulls Preview: Welcome to the RJE (sort of)

In a season of eras, a new one is dawning on Detroit.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit's season thus far has been one of many eras.  For those interested, here is the chronology of Detroit's season, which has similar portions to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods:

Era Period
JSE (Josh Smith Era) Oct 29-Dec 22
PSE (Post Smith Era) Dec 22 - current
FAFWE (Form a F**king Wall Era) Jan 6 - current
PSE:'( (Post Swag Era :'() January 24 - current
JL3E (John Lucas III Era)

Feb 2 - current

RJE (Reggie Jackson Era) Feb 20 - current

As you can see, the Pistons are currently in the midst of FIVE ERAS.  Thankfully the first one has ended, although some of the other ones are a little less desirable.  We could also embark on the VLE (Veteran Leadership Era) if Tayshaun Prince is retained and our small forward rotation resembles an extras meeting on the set of The Walking Dead.

UPDATE: We also need to add a Spencer Dinwiddie starts era.

Game Vitals

Where: Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI

When: Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, 7:30PM ET

Watch: FSD

Exceptionally Detailed Analysis

Well, the Pistons certainly shocked a few people yesterday, didn't they?  By trading for Reggie Jackson and Tayshaun Prince, the number of warm bodies on the roster dropped to 13.  Add in the yet-to-be-announced signing of Quincy Miller on a 10-day contract, and the haul looks slightly better. I'm not going to try to convince people of my views (I don't hate the Jackson trade, Prince, well, y'know, ugh), but I do know that Van Gundy has kept his promise of not mortgaging the future away (apart from two second round picks in a few years that will hopefully be inconsequential by then).

Van Gundy, however, also addressed media yesterday morning saying that the Pistons may make a move to shore up the present, which they feel that they did, and it didn't cost them much.  I'm sure if one of D.J. Augustin or Kyle Singler had managed to stay on the roster, then the trade would be met with more widespread approval, but hey, that's just me.

What the Pistons did lose was nothing of note in terms of future success.  They lost a 27-year-old journeyman point guard (please no Billups comparisons) who needed lots of minutes to be effective (one could argue Jackson is the same, but that's not the point I'm making here), a below-average starter at SF (although a very serviceable backup) who's shooting inconsistencies plagued him at times (plus he turns 27 in May), a lovable Euro who remained loyal to the franchise but was ultimately made redundant by another trade acquisition, and a former Italian MVP who was never given a chance.

When you look at how old the players Detroit was giving away are turning (Augustin 28, Singler 27, Jerebko 28, Datome 28), it could be argued that none of them were going to be around for the future.  Looking at the players brought in, Jackson turns 25 in April, and has an audition and motivation to perform.  Tayshaun Prince may be as old as fossils, but he's an expiring.  All in all, we like Jackson, we keep him.  We don't, we let him walk and make a run at some free agents with our newly acquired capspace (besides Greg Monroe, targets may include J. Butler, Draymond Green and Wes Matthews).

Oh yeah, the Bulls did nothing on trade deadline day, so they pretty much have a full-strength roster to pick from for this encounter.

Players To Watch

Detroit: Assuming Jackson doesn't play, Greg Monroe.

Monroe has seen so much uncertainty and turmoil in his tenure, and just when things seemed to be settling down, this happens.  Still, for this game at least, assuming Jackson isn't available in time, Monroe will be the unquestioned focal point of the offense.

Chicago: Derrick Rose

Watch a combination of Dinwiddie and John Lucas III try and guard him.  Try not to throw up.

Last Time We Met

Nov. 10, 2014, CHI won 102-91 (season series 1-0 CHI)

Way back in the JSE, the Bulls rolled the Pistons in an early season encounter.  Josh Smith (lol) top scored with 19, while D.J. Augustin (sad face) added 16 off the bench.  Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 24 points and 7 assists.


-- Several D.J. Augustin ones which are now gone.

-- Pistons G John Lucas III played for Chicago from 2010-12

-- Pistons F Cartier Martin played some of 2013-14 in Chicago

-- Pistons G Jodie Meeks played with Bulls F Pau Gasol for LA Lakers from 2012-14

-- Bulls C Nazr Mohammed played in Detroit in 2006-07

-- Pistons C Andre Drummond was coached by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau during the summer for Team USA

Score Prediction

With a depleted roster against a rampaging Bulls?  Bartender?  Kool-Aid me.

Pistons 98-94 Bulls

Lineup Prediction

Pistons: Dinwiddie, Caldwell-Pope, who knows, Monroe, Drummond

Bulls: Rose, Butler (the good one), Mirotic, Gasol, Noah

Injured/In Doubt

Pistons: Jackson (N/A-trade), Prince (N/A-trade), Jennings (Achilles), Miller (N/A-10-day contract)*

Bulls: None

The newly-acquired players won't have completed physicals and be ready in time for the game.

Community Question

How will Dinwiddie perform in his first start? Who starts at SF?