Game 3: Chicago Bulls (2-0) at Detroit Pistons (2-0)
Location: Palace of Auburn Hills – Auburn Hills, Michigan
Time: 6:30 p.m. central
TV: Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Fox Sports Detroit
The Bulls will close out the week with a Friday night matchup against the Detroit Pistons. Both teams have played twice, opened the season with a back-to-back and are undefeated. This makes it the third game in four nights for both teams, and it’s just the start of the season, so watch out to see how fatigue plays a factor, if any.
Match-up of the Game
The Bulls frontcourt versus Andre Drummond
Two games is a small sample size, but that doesn’t change the fact Drummond is averaging a double-double of 18 points and 14.5 rebounds.
When the Bulls and Pistons faced off in the preseason, Drummond put up a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. He will likely be the Bulls’ biggest threat Friday night, and it will be up to the frontcourt, as a collective unit, to stop him. Pau Gasol should be getting the most minutes against Drummond, as they’re the two starting centers, but Nikola Mirotic needs to help out his fellow Spain teammate — which could be a difficult task given the fact defense certainly isn’t Mirotic’s specialty.
That being said, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Joakim Noah or even Taj Gibson get some minutes against Drummond since the two of them are the Bulls’ best defenders in the frontcourt.
The Bulls improved their record to 2-0 Wednesday night when they defeated the Brooklyn Nets 115-100. They opened the game with a 7-0 run that developed into a double-digit lead, but the Nets cut it down to a three-point lead by halftime. The Bulls regained that double-digit lead and gave it up again toward the end, but the Bulls’ starters took command again late.
The Pistons are coming off a 92-87 win over the Utah Jazz Wednesday night. Utah’s Gordon Hayward put his team up 87-86 with 23 seconds left in the game, but the Pistons made a comeback. Reggie Jackson made a layup that gave the Pistons the lead, and they never looked back.
These two teams met in preseason nearly two weeks ago on Oct. 28. The Bulls suffered a 114-91 loss to the Pistons. This was the game where head coach Fred Hoiberg experimented with a starting lineup of E’Twaun Moore, Jimmy Butler, Mirotic, Noah and Gasol, but Hoiberg said he didn’t stick with it because of a lack of energy.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.