Zach LaVine shoots the ball over Detroit Pistons' Reggie Jackson

Chuck's Daily Check In - 03.08.19

Chuck previews tonight's matchup against Detroit and tells us what's happening around the league

GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER:

Detroit: (32-31, 12-18 on the road) at Bulls: (19-47, 8-25 at home).

TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7PM.

RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul: 6:45 PM pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23 ppg. Detroit: Griffin: 25 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 9 per. Detroit: Drummond: 15 per.(#1-NBA)
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6 per. Detroit: Griffin: 5 per.

SEASON SERIES: Detroit 2-0.

CCI PREVIEW: Don’t look now but the streaky Detroit Pistons have moved the needle the past three weeks and are over the .500 mark for the first time since mid December. How are they doing it? First, Improved three points shooting. Secondly, Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin are playing at a very high level. Drummond is averaging 21 points and 16 rebounds in the last 12 games. Drummond is hoopin’ coming off a 31 -15 game Wednesday against Minnesota. He has recorded 16 straight double-double games. Last season, he set the franchise record with 18. Griffin has completely turned the page on his days as a Clipper. He is all in with Detroit. Of course, one better be all in, especially if you’re in the first of a five year-171 million dollar contract. Griffin is averaging 25 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists but shooting only 38% over the last five games. The Pistons bench went off in Wednesday’s 131-114 over Minnesota as the Detroit reserves scored a whopping 70 points. Luke Kennard and Ish Smith are doing some serious ballin’.

Detroit leads the season series 2-0 as the two teams play twice in a three day span. Zach LaVine rose to the occasion on a big national TV stage Wednesday as he shredded the 76ers interior defense off the dribble. LaVine scored 39 and was simply unstoppable no matter who guarded him. LaVine is finishing strong and next year there is no doubt he’ll be an All Star. The chemistry between LaVine and Robin Lopez has been terrific. I love the beauty of the NBA with pick and roll situations working to perfection. Lopez is fundamentally sound and an outstanding teammate. The addition of Otto Porter Jr. has been a huge plus in many areas. I’m excited where this club is headed.

CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES

Milwaukee 117, Indiana 98. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 56 points. It’s the 21st time the Bucks have won a game by 15+ points.

Oklahoma City 129, Portland 121 OT. Russell Westbrook and Paul George combined for 69 points. The Thunder swept the four game season series. Portland’s Damian Lillard scored a season high 51.

The Pelicans will be without Jrue Holiday for 7-10 days with a lower abdominal strain.

Atlanta’s Vince Carter says he’d like to play another season and CCI says why not. For the 42 year old future Hall of Famer it would mark his 22nd season in the NBA.

LeBron James and the Lakers are going to cut back his minutes now that it appears the Lakers will miss the playoffs. The Lakers play the Bulls at the United Center on Tuesday.

Thanks for reading CCI. Reach out: cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls. Always a pleasure!

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