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Chicago Bulls vs. Detroit Pistons: Preview, Injury Report, and Open Thread

Threes the charm?

Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Chicago Bulls (11-19) at Detroit Pistons (11-18)

6:00 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago

Injury Report:

Daniel Gafford remains day-to-day with a hamstring injury.

It wouldn’t be a Chicago Bulls game without one of the oppositions best players sitting out with injury.

The Last Couple Times:

The Bulls are perfect this season against the Pistons.

The first matchup between the two teams was a best-case scenario for Bulls fans. The Bulls won 112-106 at the United Center on the night they honored Luol Deng. The lieutenant specifically chose that night to be honored because Derrick Rose was in town with the Pistons. Rose dropped 23.

A perfect splattering of Deng’s former teammates showed up to the game.

In the second matchup between the two teams, the Bulls won a more decisive 109-89 contest. The story of the game was Lauri Markkanen, who poured in a slump-busting 24 points on 50 percent shooting from the field to propel the Bulls to a much needed win. It was the first time he had scored over 20 points since opening night (13 game stretch of scoring 12.5 points per game on 33.3 percent from the field between those two 20+ point performances).

Preview:

Better is relative when you have 11 wins, but for a stretch there the Pistons were figuring a few things out. They began the month of December on a 5-2 tear which is basically the equivalent of a 10-game winning streak for an actual elite team.

The good vibes train skidded to a halt recently though as the Pistons are now in the midst of a three-game losing streak. Two of those losses came against Eastern Conference contenders in the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics but the other loss came against a flailing Washington Wizards squad.

The Derrick Rose Renaissance continues much to the delight to many Bulls fans. His per 36 numbers are similar to his MVP season and he’s doing all of it in mostly a sixth man role.

Voting for the 2020 All-Star game begins on Christmas Day. Rose’s body of work at least warrants consideration for his first All-Star nod since 2012. Bradley Beal, Trae Young, Kemba Walker, and Ben Simmons are going to be tough to beat out though.

But, if Rose is unable to make the All-Star team for the fourth time in his career, he’ll at least have KC Johnson’s all-decade team to hold onto. And I’m not being factious.

Standings Watch:

The Bulls season has mostly been a wreck. They’ve won only 11 games, have multiple key pieces stagnating or regressing, and have questionable leadership at all levels. They talked playoffs before the season and somehow because the Eastern Conference is mind-numbingly bad again they are in position to get there.

They are 1.5 games out of the eighth spot and their next two opponents (includes Pistons tonight and the Orlando Magic on Monday) sit between them and a playoff spot. If they win these games and the Charlotte Hornets (who are currently in the eighth spot) drop a few, the Bulls could be chilling on Christmas in playoff position.

Tweet:

Zach LaVine, please do the dunk contest again.