by Tomas Lopez
The Chicago Bulls have dominated Detroit in impressive fashion over the past few years and seek their 16th consecutive win over the Pistons on Friday. Chicago’s streak includes seven straight victories at The Palace of Auburn Hills, but the Detroit Pistons have played well at home of late, winning five in a row before falling to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. Chicago has won four of its last six games to move above .500.
The Bulls haven’t found their stride with standout point guard Derrick Rose still recovering from major knee surgery. Chicago hasn’t won more than two consecutive games all season. Detroit has suffered four-game series sweeps to the Bulls in each of the previous three seasons. Three of last season’s four losses were by double digits. Detroit’s last home victory against Chicago was on Dec. 23, 2008, when Rodney Stuckey poured in 40 points.
Chicago Bulls (9-8): Guard Marco Belinelli is coming off his top effort since joining Chicago, which was a welcome sight with starting guard Richard Hamilton (foot) sidelined for a few weeks. Belinelli tallied a season-high 23 points after scoring just eight total points over the previous two games and reaching double digits just three times prior to the breakout performance. “It was just a matter of time,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Each day and each game he’s gotten more and more comfortable.” Belinelli is averaging 6.2 points, well off his career-high 11.8 average last season for the New Orleans Hornets.
Detroit Pistons (6-14): Starting guards Brandon Knight (four points, 1-of-6 shooting) and Kyle Singler (three points, 1-for-9) both had atrocious games in the loss to Golden State, and it was magnified by the fact that the Warriors' starting backcourt of Klay Thompson (27) and Stephen Curry (22) combined for 49. “Your guards get outscored 49-7, it is going to be tough to win,” Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. “That’s just a bad night.” Forward Tayshaun Prince was solid with a season-best 24 points but he struggled against Chicago last season when he averaged 9.0 points and shot 35.6 percent from the field.
1. Chicago’s average margin of victory in its 15 consecutive wins over Detroit is 10.9 points.
2. Pistons rookie F Andre Drummond has grabbed 12 rebounds in each of the past two games and is averaging 9.3 boards over the last eight contests.
3. Bulls C Joakim Noah averaged 14 points and 12 rebounds against the Pistons last season, including one outing with 17 boards.
NBA Basketball Prediction: Pistons 94, Bulls 93.
andre drummond - brandon knight - chicago bulls - derrick rose - detroit pistons - joakim noah - klay thompson - kyle singler - lawrence frank - marco belinelli