Apr 2, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) drives against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) and Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris (13) in the second half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Here’s a preview of Tuesday night’s game between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons; the Bulls’ fourth game in the last five nights.
The Chicago Bulls’ first four-game-in-five-night stretch this season hasn’t gone according to plan.
Things started off great for the Bulls. They got a huge performance from their entire starting five — including a triple-double from Rajon Rondo — this past Friday night in a win over the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
Then, things headed south quickly. Rondo had his worst game of the season, which led to a one-game suspension on Monday because of an outburst on a Bulls assistant coach Saturday night, and the Bulls lost in their second meeting with the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.
So, the Bulls enter Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons at 1-2 in this four-game stretch with a game on national television against the San Antonio Spurs looming on Thursday night back in Chicago.
With all of that being documented, here’s a preview of the game between the Bulls and Pistons.
Jan 18, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) brings the ball down the court during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bulls at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Bulls defeated the Pistons 111-102. Mandatory Credit: Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports
Both teams get their point guards back for Tuesday’s game
Although he officially returned on Sunday night against Orlando, the Pistons will get their $80 million floor general back for their first meeting with the Bulls.
Reggie Jackson returned after missing the first 21 games of the season for Detroit with some lingering knee issues, but is back and will be a big boost for the Pistons as the season moves along.
For the Bulls, the road team on Tuesday night will get their starting point guard back as well. Rajon Rondo served his one-game suspension handed down by the Bulls on Monday night in the Bulls’ 112-110 loss to Portland.
It’s an interesting matchup because Jackson is still shaking off some major rust and getting back into basketball shape, while Rondo is trying to contribute some consistency in an important role for the Bulls this season.
Jackson had a nice welcome back even in defeat on Sunday, scoring 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting with four assists in a shortened 23-minute stint for the Pistons against the Magic, so the Bulls have to be aware of his production, even for just his second game back.
The Pistons were a huge thorn in the Bulls’ side last season, taking three of four meetings against the Bulls. That turned out to be big for the Bulls, who missed out on the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference by two games.
The team that played the Cavaliers in the first round of the postseason as the No. 8 seed? The Detroit Pistons.
Four games in five nights is never easy in the NBA, no matter who you’re playing.
It doesn’t help matters that the Bulls are not only playing in their fourth in five nights on Tuesday, they’re playing a team that has had their number in recent times, including winning an insane four-overtime game against the Bulls last season.
Not only are the Pistons getting their starting lead guard back, the Bulls still haven’t proven that they can slow down Andre Drummond from eating every rebound on the glass in every meeting against him.
Pistons hand the Bulls their third straight loss, 97-91