By Chris CasonCSNChicago.com
To say the Bulls (7-2) have had the Detroit Pistons (2-6) number over the past three seasons would be an understatement.
The last defeat Chicago suffered at the hands of their Central Division foe came in Derrick Roses 28th game as a professional on Dec. 23 in the Palace of Auburn Hills. Rodney Stuckey scored a career-high 40 points for the Pistons as they beat the Bulls 104-98.
Since that time, the Bulls have won the last 12 meetings between the two teams, including 10 straight home games.
Coming into tonights matchup, all odds appear to be in Chicagos favor with having suffered an embarrassing loss against the Hawks on Saturday and their penchant for coming out even more focused than usual the following game. The Pistons are also on a three-game losing streak and is a team still searching for an identity with each of their six losses being by 11 points or more.
The Pistons will also be without Stuckey, whos recovering from a sore groin he injured in the Bulls 99-83 win at the Palace last Wednesday.
C.J. Watson and Richard Hamilton are doubtful for tonights game. Watson is no longer wearing the sling for his left elbow which he injured in the Bulls home opener against Memphis and has started to do some conditioning and dribbling drills.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has said Watsons return to the rotation will depend on the reserve guards pain tolerance.
Hamilton is still recovering from a sore left groin which has caused him to miss four out of the last five games.
On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, the Bulls Outsiders team of Matt Peck, David Watson, and John Sabine join Kevin Anderson to talk about the series premier of ‘Bulls Outsiders’ Thursday night. Hear about how the show came together and what they are hoping to bring to the Bulls fanbase this season. They’ll also share their bold predictions for the season including two potential end-of-season award winners from this roster.
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
We all know what Zach LaVine is capable of doing on the offensive side of things. But what about his defense?
It's no secret that LaVine has had his fair share of struggles on defense, but Kris Dunn thinks highly of his 23-year-old teammate and what his potential is at the other end.
"On the defensive end I just told him, 'You're as fast as me. You're more athletic than me. There's no way you shouldn't be a good defender in this league. You could be one of those guys who could be dynamic in the passing lanes because you're so athletic and fast.'" Dunn said of LaVine. "And personally, I like to score. If you get in a passing lane, that's a dunk for yourself and because you've got so much bounce that's when you get the crowd on their feet — maybe do a windmill, a 360, something.
"But I think he's been going a good job on the defensive end. It's not going to be easy. We all got to learn and I think we're all trying."
Improving his defense would obviously be a big step forward for LaVine (and the Bulls), and he knows it.
“I think I had a lot better focus on the defensive end,” LaVine said when assessing his preseason. “I had some mistakes too, but I wanted to go out there and just really hone in on being more focused down there. I felt like I did OK with that. Still some areas I want to get better at, definitely off-the-ball I think I did a lot better than I had before.’’
LaVine and the Bulls travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Thursday night in their season opener. You can watch Bulls Pre- and Postgame Live on NBC Sports Chicago before and after the game for highlights and analysis.