Pistons-Bulls Preview

With a new coach and an overhauled roster, it might take a

little time for the Chicago Bulls to find the right chemistry.

Facing the Detroit Pistons could provide a good chance for a

successful collective effort.

The Bulls look to bounce back from a season-opening loss and

continue their recent dominance over the Pistons on Saturday night

at the United Center.

Chicago, which brought in eight new players to build around star

Derrick Rose after making the playoffs for the fifth time in six

seasons, lost 106-95 at Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Rose had 28

points, but only four in the final 21 minutes. The Bulls were

outscored 24-13 in the fourth quarter.

“You can’t have blown sets in the fourth quarter,” first-year

coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I think that’s where you have to be at

your best. You have to be able to execute under pressure, and we’ll

do better. We have to do better.”

Joakim Noah had 18 points with 19 rebounds and Taj Gibson added

16 points and 11 boards Thursday, but veteran newcomers Keith

Bogans, C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer combined for 18

points.

With all the new faces, one of which – prized free-agent

acquisition Carlos Boozer – is out for another month with a broken

hand, the Bulls find themselves in a feeling-out process.

“We just have to do a better job coming together when it hits

the fan,” Noah told the Bulls’ official website.

The Bulls have won seven in a row overall against Detroit, and

eight straight meetings at the United Center. The Pistons have shot

42.3 percent and averaged 88.6 points during that road skid.

Detroit has not won at Chicago since Feb. 24, 2006.

Luol Deng scored 27 points, Rose had 22 and Noah added 16 with

11 boards in a 120-87 win over the Pistons in the teams’ last

meeting at the United Center on Jan. 11.

Former Bulls star Ben Gordon averaged 10.5 points on

36.8-percent shooting in four games against Chicago during a

disappointing first season with the Pistons in 2009-10. He was held

scoreless in six minutes of the January loss at Chicago.

Gordon had 32 points while shooting 11 of 16 from the floor in

Detroit’s 105-104 home loss to the Thunder on Friday.

The Pistons (0-2) have not started 0-3 since dropping their

first four in 1999-2000.

After blowing a seven-point lead with 1:40 left in Wednesday’s

101-98 loss at New Jersey, Detroit could not stop Oklahoma City’s

Jeff Green from making the game-winning layup with 2.5 seconds

remaining Friday.

“We have to get better closing out games,” said former Bull and

current Pistons center Ben Wallace, who had two points and eight

rebounds in the loss to the Nets.

“It’s a long season. If we keep continue to play the way we’re

playing, our fortunes will turn and things will start to go our

way.”

Detroit could be without backup point guard and Chicago native

Will Bynum for a second straight game because of a hamstring

injury.