Preview: Pistons at Bulls
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[December 07, 2013]
(SportsDirect Inc.) — With five wins in their last seven games,
the Detroit Pistons look to polish off a perfect three-game road swing
when they take on the Bulls in Chicago on Saturday. Detroit has handled
its business against teams near the bottom of the Eastern Conference
standings in four of its recent wins but the Pistons also knocked off
the Heat in Miami this week and center Andre Drummond told the Detroit
Free Press that things seem to be coming together for his team, saying,
"We are really starting to jell."
Chicago is 2-4 since losing the centerpiece of their offense,
point guard Derrick Rose, in a Nov. 22 loss to Portland but is
coming off of a 20-point victory over Miami that has its players
feeling a renewed confidence. "That's who we are," guard Kirk
Hinrich told the Chicago Tribune. "I think that was our most
consistent defensive and rebounding game. That's what we have to
do." Chicago outrebounded the Heat 49-27 and held Miami to an
unremarkable 41.6 percent shooting.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, WGN (Chicago)
ABOUT THE PISTONS (9-10): Drummond has emerged as a force at both
ends of late, becoming the first Detroit player with 18 or more
rebounds in three straight games since Ben Wallace in March of 2003,
while averaging 21.7 points in same stretch. His 12.8 rebounds per
game trail only Minnesota's Kevin Love (13.6) and DeAndre Jordan of
the Los Angeles Clippers (12.9). Rodney Stuckey averages a team-high
16.2 points and Brandon Jennings adds 15.9 to go with 8.4 assists
off the bench as Detroit's best distributor.
ABOUT THE BULLS (8-9):
Rose was initially declared out for
the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in
his right knee on Nov. 25 but recently stated he hasn't yet
closed the door on a return for the playoffs, if Chicago should
qualify. In his absence, the Bulls are led by Luol Deng, who
averages 19.4 points, and Carlos Boozer, who posts 15.7 points
to go with a rebounding average of 8.8 that is good for a share
of the team lead alongside Joakim Noah. Chicago's 95.3 points
per game overall is among the NBA's bottom 10 but it has limited
opponents to 94.1 - good for fourth-best leaguewide.
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Chicago has bested Detroit a remarkable 19 times in the last
20 meetings between the two, including a 99-79 decision in
Detroit Nov. 27.
Drummond grabbed 18 boards and Greg Monroe pulled down 17
against Milwaukee on Wednesday , becoming the first two Pistons
with at least 17 each since Bill Laimbeer (20) and Dennis Rodman
(17) in February of 1990.
Led by Drummond, Monroe and Josh Smith, Detroit averages a
league-best 51.5 points in the paint.
PREDICTION: Pistons 104, Bulls 102
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