The Chicago Bulls kick off a five game in seven day stretch on the road against the Pistons. The Pistons are winding down a season where they’ll miss the playoffs and have management focusing on the draft and lotto position more so than winning games.
The veterans have likely mentally checked out already while the young guys will be hungry to prove themselves and carve out roles for themselves for next year.
What will Derrick do?
Derrick Rose has struggled with explosiveness in both games since returning from a groin injury (sitting out one in between with a sprained ankle which may also now be affecting his burst). The Bulls have seven games left until the playoffs, and they’re running out of time to try and built any chemistry amongst their starters.
What all Bulls fans need to be hoping for is Derrick Rose to show signs of increased explosiveness this game. The Bulls play a compressed schedule over the next week, so we should get a good feel for where Derrick is at after playing a couple of back to backs.
I expect Rose to show steady improvement from last game, and regardless of whether his full burst is present, he should shoot the ball better than the 1/13 effort against the Heat. Hopefully, we’ll see steady improvements in Rose’s ability to push the ball, tighten up his ball handling,
Watch the young guns
The Bulls are a team that generally puts forth high defensive effort every night, and they shouldn’t struggle to defend the Pistons overall. However, the two guys who should require the most attention are rookie Brandon Knight and big man Greg Monroe. They’re among the Pistons best offensive players anyway and are still young enough to not be jaded by the failed season.
The Bulls should pay attention, of course, to Gordon on the three point line, but Gordon has never been able to do much damage since leaving the Bulls for the Pistons.
Take care of the fundamentals
In games against the weaker teams of the NBA, the Bulls nearly need to control turnovers, control the glass, and run the offense. If they do those three things, they’ll win the game without much difficulty. If they struggle in those areas they can let Detroit hang around.