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Pistons vs. Bulls preview: Reeling Bulls visit Detroit for MLK day matinee

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The numbers look to be catching up with the Chicago Bulls.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Situation

It never really made sense how the Bulls were so good.

They were the number two team in the Eastern Conference for most of the season, despite Derrick Rose playing like one of the worst players in the league, Joakim Noah's performance falling off a cliff, and Nikola Mirotic turning in a disappointing sophomore season. Despite Fred Hoiberg replacing Tom Thibodeau to implement a fast-paced, high-scoring offense, the team wasn't very good offensively.

And now their record is starting to catch up with those numbers. They've lost four of their past five games, their second such stretch over the past month. Sure, they sandwiched those losing streaks with a six-game winning streak, but they've also fallen back into the pack in the Eastern Conference. And it doesn't look to get easier for the Bulls, as today's game opens a stretch where six of their next nine games come on the road.

Meanwhile, the Pistons ended a losing streak of their own with arguably their best win of the season, a beginning-to-end domination of the returning champion Golden State Warriors.

Game Vitals

Where: Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

When: 3:30 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

Players to Watch

Derrick Rose: Opposing point guards have been shredding the Pistons as of late, and Rose has been playing better - especially as a scorer. He dropped 34 points on the Pistons in their four-overtime game last month and has been averaging 18 points per game on 44 percent shooting since then.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: KCP has been playing his best ball of the season, averaging 17 points per game with a shooting line of 48/37/81. He's also been chipping in 4.6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.6 steals. Also tasked with shutting down Jimmy Butler, it's a big matchup for him.

Last Time We Met

December 18, 2015: Detroit 147, Chicago 144, 4OT - You remember this one right? One of the most exciting games I've watched in a long time. If you missed it and haven't gotten around to catching up with it, do it.

Community Question

Bulls are down to third in the East with their first tough stretch of schedule coming up. What do they finish the season ranked in the Eastern Conference?