Will Joakim Noah's absence help the Pistons be more competitive on the boards vs. Chicago?

Essentials

Teams: Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons

Date: Dec. 26, 2010

Time: 6 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 10-19

Bulls: 18-10

Probable starters

Pistons:

Bulls:

  • Derrick Rose
  • Keith Bogans
  • Luol Deng
  • Kurt Thomas
  • Carlos Boozer

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +3.5

Over/under: 192

Score: Bulls win, 97.75-94.25

Three things to watch

1. Christmas impact?

It has been pretty well-documented over the last week or so that NBA teams don’t seem to be all that fond of playing on Christmas Day. Well, not only did the Bulls play yesterday, losing to New York, but they have the second half of a back-to-back today in Detroit. Hopefully the Pistons can catch Chicago looking ahead to getting a little holiday time.

2. No Noah

Joakim Noah had 15 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocks in the first game against the Bulls this season. Last season, he had rebounding games of 21, 14 and 11 against the Pistons. So the fact that Noah will not play should hopefully mean the Pistons won’t get pounded on the glass as hard as they normally do against Chicago.

3. The bench brigade take two

Rip Hamilton took exception to his demotion by, uh, actually playing hard. I’m sure most people watched Hamilton’s 35-point performance against Toronto and had similar sentiments: if he’d played even close to that well as a starter, with that kind of effort and taking good shots within the offense, his spot as a starter would never be in doubt. I don’t want to hear the “he needs a Billups-like playmaker next to him” line. He’s the highest paid player on the team, he’s still obviously in good shape even if he’s getting older and he still knows the difference between a good shot and a bad shot. I guess we’ll see if Hamilton’s scoring outburst was a one-game middle finger to the coaching staff for benching him or if it’s going to be the start of a stretch of prolonged good play to earn his starting spot back.

Pregame Reading

  • Brian Packey previews the game for Detroit Bad Boys
  • What should LeBron James do? Should he not sell out his own union?
  • Speaking of James: his triple-double on Christmas yesterday was the first Christmas Day triple-double since Billy Cunningham of the 76ers had one in 1970 against your very own Detroit Pistons.