The Pistons try to sweep a homestand

Essentials

  • Teams: Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons
  • Date: Jan. 4,  2012
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass

Records

  • Pistons: 2-3
  • Bulls: 5-1

Probable starters

Pistons:

Bulls:

  • Derrick Rose
  • Rip Hamilton or Ronnie Brewer
  • Luol Deng
  • Carlos Boozer
  • Joakim Noah

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +7

Over/under: 184

Score: Bulls win, 95.5-88.5

Three things to watch

1. Chicago’s legs

This homestand has set up quite nicely for the Pistons, with Indiana, Orlando and Chicago all heading into the Palace on the second game of back-to-backs. The Pistons, meanwhile, got a day of rest before Orlando and one before Chicago. The Bulls needed a 34-18 fourth quarter last night to squeak by Atlanta by two. Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each played 44 minutes.

2. Another frontcourt test

Chicago’s starting frontcourt, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, on the other hand, didn’t play large roles last night. Noah was limited to just 18 minutes because he spent the whole game in foul trouble and Boozer played just 27 minutes. The Bulls actually rallied in the game with Boozer on the bench and Omer Asik in the game, so Boozer never made it back in. The Pistons handled David West, a similar player to Boozer, pretty well this season. Asik-Noah will be a different type of test for Greg Monroe-Jonas Jerebko as both of those guys are also high energy players who will be active on the glass. Should be fun matchups to watch up front.

3. Stuckey vs. Rose

Lawrence Frank is the second consecutive coach who has talked up Rodney Stuckey‘s potential as a lockdown perimeter defender. If Stuckey is ever going to remove the ‘potential’ from that equation, he’s going to need some signature defensive performances against players like Rose. With the Pistons playing well right now and trying to re-establish an identity as a tough, defensive oriented team, this is a good opportunity for Stuckey to show he’s buying in.

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Tags: Greg Monroe Jonas Jerebko Lawrence Frank Richard Hamilton Rodney Stuckey

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