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Bulls vs. Pistons preview and thread: finally, the schedule eases up

a winnable game!

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, your Chicago Bulls hope to rejoin the winners’ circle when they visit the Detroit Pistons in Little Caesars Arena.

The Bulls are undefeated in three tries against the Pistons thus far this season. Of course, given that Detroit’s best player is rookie guard Cade Cunningham, the top draft pick in 2021, and Chicago’s two best defensive guards remain unavailable, it sure feels conceivable that the Pistons could steal a W here.

Cunningham and his Pistons are on something of a mini-tear of their own, per Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. They have gone 6-2 in their last eight contests, including victories against the Celtics, Cavaliers, Raptors, Hornets and Hawks, solid clubs all. During that window, Cunningham is averaging 21.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. With just a 18-47 record on the year, the Pistons remain firmly out of the playoff/play-in hunt as the East’s 14th seed.

Chicago has lost its last five games, after winning six straight against a relative cupcake schedule. Reinforcements may actually arrive soon (see the injury report below), but in the mean time it will fall to All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine to best Detroit with elite offense. It can be done!

Starting Bulls center Nikola Vucevic, who would finally be facing off against decidedly inferior competition tonight, may have to sit out his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Billy Donovan opted to start Tristan Thompson in his absence in Monday’s 121-106 blowout defeat to the Philadelphia 76ers. Thompson responded to the uptick in minutes with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor, nine rebounds, and five fouls in striving to contain Philly MVP contender Joel Embiid.

With guards Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso sidelined, look for rookie Ayo Dosunmu to get the start at point guard and for Coby White to continue to get significant touches.

Injury Report:

After missing Monday’s loss against the Sixers, Nikola Vucevic remains questionable today as he continues to grapple with a right hamstring strain. Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Patrick Williams are all still out.

In some happy news, however, Caruso could rejoin the Bulls as a practice participant as soon as Friday after being cleared for contact. Williams has been given the go-ahead for “controlled contact,” meaning he can participate in one-on-one practices. Lonzo, we’re waiting on you.

The Pistons will be without center Isaiah Stewart (right knee bone bruise) and combo guard Frank Jackson (back). Guard Killian Hayes (right adductor contusion) is questionable tonight.

Game Time:

6 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago.


The Bulls are six-point favorites tonight. The over/under for the cumulative game score has been listed at 228.5. (All info via DraftKings, Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.)