The Detroit Pistons host the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night for a clash of Central Division rivals. Chicago needs to win this game to keep its playoff hopes alive, and Detroit is looking to play the role of spoiler.
Chicago comes into this game with a record of 28-39, and they are currently in 11th place in the Central Division. The Bulls have won two straight games, but they still have some work to do if they want to make the play-in tournament.
Detroit has already been eliminated from the postseason, and they will simply trying to be keeping the Bulls out of the playoff race. The Pistons are just 20-48 on the year, and they have gone 1-5 in their last six games.
The Chicago Bulls are 8.5-point favorites over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
Bulls at Pistons Preview and Pick: LaVine Back in Bulls Lineup
Injuries have really hurt the playoff chances for the Bulls this season, especially when it comes to their biggest star. Zach LaVine has spent time out of the lineup with a number of different concerns, but he is back and ready to go for this stretch run.
LaVine is leading the team with 27.2 points and five assists per game this season, and he continues to put up monster numbers. The Bulls will simply ride LaVine and his offensive talent as far as he is able to take them.
All-Star center Nikola Vucevic has been great for the Bulls as well. Vucevic gives the Bulls a second scoring option, but this team could still use some more offense from its bench.
The defense has been a problem for the Bulls, as they are giving up nearly 114 points per game. The Pistons don’t provide a huge offensive threat, but the Bulls do need to find a way to get some defensive stops.
Bulls at Pistons Preview and Pick: No Offense For Pistons
The Detroit Pistons don’t do a number of things very well, but the lack of offense has been the biggest problem. Detroit is scoring just 107 points per game, and they just can’t keep up with some of the top teams in the NBA.
Jerami Grant has been the best offensive weapon for the Pistons this season, scoring 22.5 points per game. Detroit does have some interesting young pieces, but they just haven’t been able to score enough points to win many ball games.
The Pistons have been a solid defensive team, and that could allow them to keep this game close. Detroit is giving up just 110 points per game, and they will try to slow down the pace in order to let the defense take control.
Teams that have already been eliminated from the playoffs are dangerous this time of the year, and the Pistons have what it takes to put a scare into the Bulls.
Bulls at Pistons Preview and Pick: Close Game But Chicago Wins
Chicago can’t lose another game if they want to reach the playoffs, and that still might not be enough. The Bulls have dealt with some injury concerns all season long, but they are fully healthy, and they have been great when their stars have been on the floor.
Detroit just hasn’t been very competitive this season, especially over the last few weeks. The Pistons will do all they can to make things difficult on the Bulls, but they just won’t have enough talent to win this game.
Detroit would love to spoil the playoff chances for the Bulls, but they just won’t be good enough to pull off this upset. Take the 8.5 points and bet on the Detroit Pistons, but it will be the Bulls that come away with the victory.