7:00 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago
It is a rough day to be a Bulls small forward.
Otto Porter Jr. had another injury setback and is out for at least two more weeks. Chandler Hutchison will miss the game tonight with ‘sore shins’.
With the Bulls small forward rotation whittled down to basically nothing, Denzel Valentine will probably see minutes tonight. Two-way player Max Strus is also a small forward so maybe he gets called up for the game tonight?
Meanwhile, Bulls big man Luke Kornet recently underwent sinus surgery and doesn’t have a timetable for a return.
For the Pistons, our old friend Tony Snell won’t play tonight due to a left hip strain.
The Last Time:
It was a best-case scenario for nostalgic Chicago Bulls fans.
The Bulls won a close one 112-106 while Derrick Rose dropped 23 points and seven assists to a chorus of MVP chants from the United Center faithful. After the game, we got the Bulls reunion of the decade.
Heck, if we’re having a reunion let’s go all out. I’d place a bet that our wild haired, pistol pantomiming, LeBron mocking buddy Joakim Noah will be in attendance. The New York Knicks have a game in Philly, but maybe Taj Gibson can come up with a good enough excuse to slip away to Chicago for the night.What are Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Andres Nocioni, and Chris Duhon doing these days?
Anyway...to the game: I once confidently thought the Detroit Pistons would surprise some people this season and make a little noise in the playoffs. Oops. In my defense, we’re 13 games in so there is more than enough time to turn things around. Also in my defense, Blake Griffin just got back from an injury. Working against me a little bit is the fact that the Pistons lost both the games that Griffin has played so far and the fact that he shot a combined 38.7 percent in those two games.
Long season though, right?
I live in Michigan now and Pistons fans have a similar doomsday attitude about their team. It’s nice to know that Bulls fans aren’t alone in their misery. Pistons fans should be thankful that they get to watch Derrick Rose everyday though and they aren’t. At least the ones that I’ve talked to about it.
...And if you look up and down their roster for just names you recognize, the cupboard isn’t exactly bare in Detroit. Rose, Andre Drummond, and Blake Griffin have all been All-Stars. There has to be a reason Markieff Morris has lasted in this league for eight years. Luke Kennard has been better than the Pistons could have hoped and our old friend Tony Snell fills a niche (although the latter won’t play tonight).
I still think my prediction that the Pistons will make some noise in the playoffs is going to make me look like an idiot at the end of the season. But, I do think this team is better than what they are showing right now.
League average player efficiency rating is about 15.
The Bulls have four players with a 15.0 PER or better. They are Daniel Gafford (small sample size alert though), Wendell Carter Jr., Zach LaVine, and Kris Dunn.
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