[Trying another blog-tank weekend where we have one thread for both matchups. Assuming there’s no 4-OT classic this time -yfbb]
Friday: 7 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago
Sunday: 11 a.m., NBC Sports Chicago
Besides the guys who've been out long term (Wendell Carter Jr., Denzel Valentine, Chandler Hutchison), the Chicago Bulls injury report is squeaky clean.
For the Pistons, the team lists sharpshooter Luke Kennard as probable for the game tonight with a sore right foot, and Zaza Pachulia as questionable with Achilles inflammation.
For the second weekend in a row, the Chicago Bulls will have back-to-back games against the same team. The Bulls welcome the Pistons to the UC tonight then make the trip east to Little Caesars Arena for an unusual 11 a.m. start time on Sunday.
The Detroit Pistons continue to be mired in perpetual mediocrity (they’ve finished between eighth and 12th in the Eastern Conference every year since the 2008-2009 season), despite owning some big-name players.
However, the Pistons do come into this game even hotter than the Bulls (winners of six of their last nine games). The Pistons have won 10 of their last 12 games to steadily ascend the Eastern Conference playoff standings to a No. 6 seed if the playoffs started tomorrow. Since Jan. 26 (15 games played), the Pistons have the best net rating and the second best offensive rating in the NBA. Detroit dropped the Minnesota Timberwolves 131-114 on Wednesday night.
If you split the numbers using a slightly different date, the Bulls and the Pistons come out as two of the hottest offenses in the association.
Through Jan. 31, the Bulls were the No. 30 offense and the Pistons were the No. 25 offense.— Mark Strotman (@markstrot) March 8, 2019
Since Feb. 1, the Pistons are the No. 1 offense and the Bulls are the No. 5 offense. Remarkable turnarounds for both on that end of the floor.
They play a home-and-home tonight + Sunday.
Although his game is outdated [5-for-36 on 3-point field goals this season], Andre Drummond is a walking double-double [he’s only not gotten a double-double eight times this season] and blocks 2.5 shots per 48 minutes which is tied for eighth best in the league. The superpowers really come out in home games so look out on Sunday Chicago Bulls.
His frontcourt running mate isn’t too shabby either. Blake Griffin is no longer constantly in the ESPN spotlight now that the Los Angeles Clippers have traded him to Detroit, but that doesn’t mean he suddenly sucks at basketball. In a featured role in the Motor City, he’s averaged a career-high 25.2 points per game. His 3-point shooting and midrange games continue to be an asset as he continues his evolution from mostly a lob threat during his rookie season in the NBA into a potent three-level scorer.
Solid 3-point shooting supplements the play of the Pistons talented big men. Five Detroit guards shoot the ball from 3-point land at a better than 35 percent clip with Luke Kennard leading the way at 40.2 percent.
Meanwhile in Bulls world, the Bulls season has hit a climax with the following play and that there probably will be nothing cooler than this play the rest of the season.
This sums up everything in the Boylen spirit era, which is cool but kind of depressing.