The Chicago Bulls will play a professional basketball game in Paris, France for the first time in 26 years. If this game was being played on American soil, I’d surely be concerned about the Bulls’ head-scratching inability to beat the NBA’s worst teams. But that can’t possibly translate across the pond, right?
RIGHT!? SOMEONE SAY RIGHT!
Detroit Pistons (12-35) vs Chicago Bulls (20-24) – 2:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV), NBATV, and 670 The Score (Radio)
1. Ayo Dosunmu
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Patrick Williams
5. Nikola Vučević
Injury Report: Javonte Green OUT (knee), DeMar DeRozan AVAILABLE (quad)
1. Killian Hayes
2. Jaden Ivey
3. Saddiq Bey
4. Isaiah Livers
5. Isaiah Steward
Injury Report: Jalen Duren QUESTIONABLE (lost passport), Nerlens Noel QUESTIONABLE (foot), Corey Joseph QUESTIONABLE (ankle), Cade Cunningham OUT (shin), Marvin Bagley OUT (hand)
The Bulls walk into this afternoon as -7.5 favorites against the Pistons at the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook. Click on the link to sign up and pick the Bulls to cover (… or pick the opposite …)!
The Bulls’ recent play against tanking teams probably doesn’t make it feels as if they’ll cover this spread. But, for what it’s worth, Chicago did beat Detroit by basically double that margin earlier this season.
What to Watch For …
- If the Bulls want to head back to the states with a victory, it sure wouldn’t hurt to get the same kind of production from their starters as they did back on Dec. 30. When the Bulls and Pistons first played this season, all five starters finished with a +5 or better and all besides Patrick Williams cracked double figures. The team as a whole shot 57.6 percent on the night thanks to a willingness to share the basketball and hunt easy shots. Considering the Pistons’ defense ranks 29th in the NBA, there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to dominate on this end of the floor again.
- To Detroit’s credit, there were able to hang around for roughly three quarters in that first game, and a big reason for that was their downtown makes. The Pistons hit 17 3-pointers to the Bulls’ 12. Alec Burks went 4-4 from long range off the bench while Rodney McGruder hit 3-5. Detroit isn’t necessarily the best 3-point shooting team, but this should have served as a reminder that they have the personnel to get hot. Chicago can’t let this become a battle of 2s vs. 3s.
- The Bulls also need to keep their eye on the free-throw line. Detroit averages the most free throw attempts per game and earned nine more attempts than the Bulls back in December. Getting to the charity stripe can be a great way to dictate the pace of play and chip away at leads. Either the Bulls need to show they can match that effort at the line or play a clean game on the defensive end.
- More in here …