Opponent Scouting: Chicago Bulls. (5-17)
Tonight at 7:00pm EST the Pistons will be hosting the Chicago Bulls at the LCA. The Pistons are on two days of rest after beating the New York Knicks on Tuesday, while the Bulls are on one day of rest following a defeat to the Bucks on Wednesday.
The Bulls are totally and completely terrible. They come into the game with the 29th offensive efficiency by scoring just 101.5 points per 100 possessions and the 21st defensive efficiency by allowing 110.4 points per 100 possessions. That’s good for the 28th net rating at -8.9 points per 100 possessions.
Zach LaVine is still scoring a lot, 25.7 points per game, but his efficiency has slowly plummeted from the early season and he is still awful on defense. Justin Holliday is a useful 3 and D wing who really should be on a better team. Jabari Parker can score a bit but he’s just as bad on defense as LaVine and he hasn’t been efficient with his scoring. Wendell Carter has his flashes but he’s a rookie and not much good right now. Ryan Arcidiacono is a white guy who plays point guard, Robin Lopez is still a rock but they don’t play him very much, Cameron Payne is bad. Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkannen, Bobby Portis, and Denzel Valentine are all hurt.
Its a bit surprising that they are a useless offensive team and simply mediocre on defense, before the season I would’ve guessed that would be the other way around. Even so, they are very bad. Zach LaVine is the only guy on the roster who is a consistent threat and he gives away most of the points he scores on the other end.
Matchups to watch:
Pistons vs. LaVine: Last time the Pistons played the Bulls LaVine gave them a lot of trouble. The Pistons defense has gotten much more sound since then and LaVine isn’t shooting as well, still, he can really score if you let him.
Blake Griffin vs. Basically nothing: The Bulls have been starting Jabari Parker at power forward due to the injuries. That guy doesn’t play a lick of defense.
Reggie Jackson vs. Continuing to claw back: It hasn’t been drastic, but Jackson is starting to find his footing over the past couple of weeks. A big help has been him getting more chances in the pick and roll, but either way it is important for him to keep getting back into form.
Stanley Johnson vs. Is this real life? We’ve seen the effectiveness of Stanley off the bench, but he’s been shooting lights out from deep and his form looks improved. There could be something happening here.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Blake Griffin is scoring many points very easily.
Stanley Johnson is going to win 6th man of the year.
Robin Lopez remains largely chained to the bench.
Run for the hills if:
Zach LaVine starts to really get going.
They decide to actually play Lopez big minutes.
The Pistons are overlooking this game at the Warriors tomorrow night.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
Blake Griffin scores a lot of points.
Drummond has a bounce-back game.
Zach LaVine scores many points.
Pistons don’t put it away but still win with some comfort.
Pistons 115 - Bulls 104.