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Bulls vs Pistons preview and open thread

Robin Lopez returns to the lineup as Bulls take on slumping Pistons

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

After getting walloped by the Boston Celtics on Monday, the Chicago Bulls came back with a rebound win against another tanking team in the Memphis Grizzlies. The Bulls jumped out to a huge lead against the pitiful Grizzlies, and it looked like the game was going to be over early. But then the Grizzlies, led by former Oregon star Dillon Brooks, stormed back and dwindled the lead all the way down to one. When it looked like Chicago would blow this game, the closing lineup went on a run to secure a 119-110 win.

In terms of the tank, the Bulls are stuck toward the back of the line. They are still slotted at the 8th spot and are currently two games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets pick (which goes to the Cavaliers). It’s currently a logjam at the bottom of the standings with four teams tied for picks 3-6 and Brooklyn a half-game out of those teams. Basically, Chicago has some work to do if they want to make this pick race interesting on their end, but it’s possible they can still turn this into a top-five pick.

Chicago will now travel to face another Central Division opponent in the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons are heading into this game on a four-game losing streak, dropping games against Toronto, Orlando, Miami, and Cleveland. In their most recent game, they lost in overtime to the first-seeded Toronto Raptors. After a nasty DeMar DeRozan dunk to give the Raptors a lead late in regulation, a Blake Griffin jumper tied the game and sent it to five extra minutes. After a sloppy beginning to overtime, the Pistons were able to battle back and tie the game again thanks to a Griffin 3-pointer. But the Raptors put the nail in the coffin with a jumper by Fred VanVleet with 1.1 seconds left. It gave the Raptors a win and another crushing loss to Detroit.

In terms of injuries, everyone seems healthy for the Bulls, and we will even see the post-All Star debut for Robin Lopez. He will be starting tonight along with Justin Holiday, so it looks like the Bulls will go with their normal starting lineup, though there will be a minutes plan in place for the veterans.

The Pistons are expected to go with a starting lineup of Griffin, Ish Smith, Luke Kennard, Reggie Bullock and Andre Drummond. Detroit has really struggled since an initial hot streak post-Griffin trade, and the playoffs are slipping away from them. They’re 29-36 and five games back of the No. 8 seed.

Game Time: 6 PM CT