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Bulls vs. Pistons preview: the continuity will mean looking bad, but can they get Ws?
last night's win was a throwback
I didn’t get to see much of Bulls-Raps, and from what I gather that was a good thing.
The team still doesn’t look different or particularly good. The starters dug themselves into big holes to start each half. It took epic fuckuperry from the Raptors and clutch performances from DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso to not only get the production to non-abysmal level (extra 5 minutes helps) but an actual victory.
And honestly, that’s ok. The Raptors are built that way and a team that’s tough to look good against. If you want to get existential, they are still in a better overall position: their former 4th overall pick had a triple double and was commanding double-teams in the final period.
But they don’t have DeRozan. So they put themselves in a position to lose a toss-up game that they were in control of late in the 4th.
So I am not putting too much from that matchup into the season ‘story’. To nobody’s surprise, the 4th option on offense wasn’t even discussed because he didn’t make it about himself unlike during the opener. There was a lot of discussion of Patrick Williams anemia, and Zach LaVine half-assing (or half-backing, if we’re to blame injury but do not say he’s injury-prone!) counter to Torrey Craig and Caruso.
And, again, I am not assuming that’s how the season will continue because the Raps are an odd opponent, but if it was: that’s the Bulls we know and are tired of! They will be in a lot of close games because they’re not very good, and the front office is hoping that more clutch bounces go their way. They did on Friday night, and unfortunately the Org. thinks that’s something they have figured out and not that they have created a team that needs to get lucky against average teams and beat every worse team to attain their mediocre goals.
One such worse team is the Detroit Pistons, who are on the same rest schedule as the Bulls heading into their home opener. They’re also 1-1 after playing close in Miami and then blowing out the Hornets in Charlotte, kind of mucking up both games. They’re very young (even the few vets on the roster are injured), so that kinda junked up game is gonna have to happen for them tonight to beat the Bulls:
Again, this is a back-to-back for both teams. And though the Bulls have a better roster, we can kinda tell already they’re not going to be that much more proficient offensively this season.
So the key goal tonight is not to help the shooting profile, or Patrick Williams development, it’s to just get the victory. If you lose, then all that other stuff compounds. If you win, it lowers the urgency and likelihood of some panic coaching move until the inevitable losing streak later. And all things considered, that’s what we can hope for early this year: putting off difficult realizations.
Game Time: 6pm Central
LaVine is ‘probable’ to play.
Join us on the Chat tonight!