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Pistons vs. Bulls preview: As Detroit surges, limping Bulls welcomed at LCA

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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

In Detroit’s foreseeable future, they’ll be playing against some of the NBA’s premier teams, including the Warriors, Sixers, Thunder and Bucks. The 5-17 Chicago Bulls, however, do not make that list. Although there’s no such thing as a must-win game in the month of November, tonight’s contest against the NBA’s third-worst team sure does feel like one knowing Detroit’s daunting December is right around the corner.

Game Vitals

When: November 30, 7:00pm EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass

Analysis

The last time these two teams faced off, in the second game of the regular season, Detroit won in nail-biting fashion, 118-116 - the truest brand of Pistons hoops. If the Pistons are facing off against one of the league’s worst teams, and they’re not trailing in the fourth, or squandering a lead, or in the midst of a back-and-forth brawl, it AIN’T DETROIT BASKETBALL. If that does not resonate somehow, please re-watch the Knicks, Suns and both Nets games.

With that being said, the Chicago Bulls are truly terrible - they’ve lost eight of their last nine games and boast the league’s 28th ranked net rating. They produce the NBA’s second worst offense, scoring just 101.5 points per 100 possessions, and the 22nd ranked defense, allowing 110.4 points per 100 possessions.

Detroit on the other hand, has won seven of their last nine games and hold the 11th ranked defense (107.4 DRTG) and the 14th ranked offense (108.5 ORTG), which equates to the 15th ranked net rating (outscoring teams by 1.1 points per 100 possessions). If they can find the formula to finally punishing teams that play as poorly as the Bulls do, that’ll certainly help boost some of their league-wide advanced stats rankings.

For Detroit, the name of the game should be stopping Zach LaVine at all costs - even if it allows Jabari Parker to put up gaudy counting stats. LaVine is the engine that drives this Bulls team, averaging 25.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists per game, but is also averaging 3.8 turnovers and shooting just 43 percent from the field and 30 percent from three. The Bulls would be short-handed with a healthy roster, but they are by no means healthy - as they’ll once again be without Kris Dunn, Bobby Portis and Lauri Markkanen. And with the injured being three of Chicago’s five best offensive players, expect LaVine to get a heavy dose of Reggie Bullock, Stanley Johnson and Bruce Brown Jr.

Starting Lineups

Detroit (11-7):
Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Glenn Robinson III, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond

Chicago (5-17):
Ryan Arcidiacono, Zach LaVine, Justin Holiday, Jabari Parker, Wendell Carter Jr.

Prediction

Detroit puts the baby Bulls to bed - Pistons 112, Chicago 99

Community Question

Prop bet: More Andre Drummond made free throws, or Zach LaVine turnovers?