Rapid Reaction: Chicago Bulls 112 Detroit Pistons 106

Detroit Pistons Derrick Rose. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Derrick Rose. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Turnovers and poor shooting hurt the Detroit Pistons in a close loss against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

Despite an underwhelming season last year, not all offseason predictions had the Chicago Bulls out of playoff contention. Even FiveThirtyEights’ forecast had granted the Bulls a ten percent better chance than the Detroit Pistons to make the playoffs as recently as the end of September.

Tonight’s performance showed that, despite respective records in this young season, those predictions might not be entirely baseless.

For Chicago, this win over a division rival could garner some much-needed confidence for a young, developing team. For Detroit, tonight’s loss is an added weight as they continue to try to stay afloat without two of their biggest stars in Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson.

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Andre Drummond kept the Pistons close during the first half, piecing together a 14 point, 13 rebound double-double in 19 minutes. He would finish with 25 points, 23 rebounds and 4 blocks, but contributed 5 turnovers to the team’s 16.

Although the Pistons ended the game with fewer turnovers than the Bulls, early turnovers put the Pistons in a hole from which they never quite escaped. 3-point shooting hurt the Pistons as well, starting the game missing on 15 attempts before Luke Kennard finally connected from deep with a minute left in the first half.

Both teams end the game at 2-4.

Players of the Game

For Chicago — The Juniors (Otto Porter Jr. and Wendell Carter Jr.).

I’m picking these two in part because combining their names is fun, but mostly because they seemed to take turns filling in the space between Zach LaVine‘s surges.

The two combined for 38 points (22 for Porter, 16 for Carter). Carter Jr. added 11 rebounds, giving him a double-double for the night.

For DetroitDerrick Rose. Rose had a really solid homecoming game, and it was clear the Pistons could not achieve much without Rose on the floor.

Each of the Pistons comeback surges came after Rose checked in, and while he ended the game  +6, at one point late in the fourth, he was +13. Praised with MVP chants from the Chicago crowd, Rose posted 23 points and seven assists in 25 minutes off the bench.

Doomsday Scenario. Moving on from Blake Griffin. light

Key Moment

Shortly after the Pistons took their first lead since the first quarter to go up 100-99 with just under four minutes to go, Lavine would hit back-to-back contested 3-pointers and put the Bulls back up five with three minutes to go.

The Pistons matched these threes with two turnovers, and by then it was too late for a chance at recovering.

Nick’s Riley’s Notes

I really wanted (still want) a comfortable Pistons win, and admittedly I was confident this would be our best chance to snag one in this young season.

As the first game of a back-to-back, it was important for the Pistons to grab an early lead that would allow them to rest their starters down the stretch in preparation for tomorrow’s game back in Detroit.

Once again the Pistons had to crawl out of a turnover-dug hole and again the game was neck-and-neck.

Rose’s playing time (24:40) didn’t veer much from the window the coaching staff is trying to keep him in, but the Pistons, for the most part, struggled to produce without him on the floor. All factors combined, instead of a comfortable win, the Pistons night ends in a close loss and an inexcusable one at that.

16 turnovers combined with 6-of-29 shooting from three is not going to put you in a position to win an NBA game, especially not on the road.

Drummond wants to stay in Detroit. light. good news

I’m not sure what else the Pistons could have done — maybe increase Rose’s minutes and give the team a chance to find that lead earlier in the fourth with more time to come back from the Chicago’s late blow?

Otherwise, I don’t see turnovers decreasing until this unit has more time to gel, and you really can’t stop shooting the ball, especially when most of the looks the Pistons had from deep tonight weren’t all that bad.

Anyway, onto Brooklyn for our second back-to-back this year. The good news is the Nets also played tonight, winning over the Houston Rockets.

Next. 30 best Pistons moments of all time. dark