Chicago lost four of its last five games, with the lone win in that
span coming when Jimmy Butler scored 53 points in an overtime
triumph at the NBA-worst Philadelphia 76ers. Butler followed that up
with four points in an 83-77 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday,
and the Bulls had center Joakim Noah go down with a separated
shoulder in the setback. Chicago could have used Noah and any of the
other weapons on the roster against the Pistons, who are flying high
after knocking off the NBA-best Golden State Warriors on Saturday,
113-95. “Everybody is going to hype it like we did something crazy,”
rookie forward Stanley Johnson told reporters. “We just played hard.
Played hard, played smart, played together.”
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE BULLS (23-16): Noah, who is averaging a career worst of
4.3 points and 38.3 percent shooting while coming off the bench in
Fred Hoiberg’s first season as head coach, sat out nine straight
games bridging December and January with an injury to the same left
shoulder. The veteran, who will undergo surgery and is expected to
miss four-to-six months, played a season-high 38 minutes at
Philadelphia on Thursday but lasted only six minutes before getting
tangled up with Dallas center JaVale McGee and dislocating the
shoulder on Friday. “The details of the timing, location, and
rehabilitation program have not yet been finalized,” the team said
in a statement announcing the surgery. “Noah is expected to have a
[to top of second column]
ABOUT THE PISTONS (22-18): Detroit has shown flashes of being the
type of team that can compete with the likes of Golden State,
Cleveland and Chicago on a regular basis, and the defensive effort
on Saturday is something it hopes will carry over more consistently.
“There’s no reason why we can’t do this every night,” Johnson told
reporters. “We’re working towards this, to do this every night. We
bring energy every night. It’s our job as professionals to do that,
so now we’ve set the bar for ourselves.” Johnson delivered a steal
and one of the Pistons’ 11 blocks on the night while hounding the
Warriors on the perimeter.
1. Bulls G Kirk Hinrich (left quad contusion) left Friday’s game and
2. Pistons G Brandon Jennings (jammed ankle) left Saturday’s game
and is day-to-day.
3. Detroit earned a 147-144 win in quadruple overtime in the last
meeting on Dec. 18 at Chicago.
PREDICTION: Pistons 102, Bulls 99
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.