GAME NIGHT FROM DETROIT:
Bulls: (24-48, 9-26 on the road) at Pistons: (32-40, 21-14 at home)
TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King - 6PM CT tipoff.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, and Steve Kashul - 5:45PM CT pregame.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine 16 ppg. Pistons: Griffin: 20 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen : 7 Pistons: Drummond: 15
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6. Pistons: Jackson 5
SEASON SERIES: 1-1
LAST MEETING:March 9 at Detroit. Pistons 99 Bulls 83.
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: The Pistons return home after spending nearly two weeks on the road going 2-4 on the trip. Of course you will hear the dreaded line, “First game back after a west coast trip” more than once tonight. It’s all true. In addition to your body clock being completely thrown off, players and staff members do have a private life and with it comes stress and unexpected hiccups that occur in one’s daily life. Players are no exception.
The Pistons made a blockbuster trade with LAC, acquiring Blake Griffin and the jury is still out on the results until we see Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond and Griffin play together extensively. It’s similar to what the Bulls are going through with Markkanen, LaVine and Dunn. It takes time, patience and sacrifice to develop chemistry. Jackson just returned to the lineup two games ago after missing 24 with an ankle issue.
LAST NIGHT AGAINST THE BUCKS:
FINAL: Milwaukee 118 Bulls 105
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Valentine: 20 points Bucks: Muhammad: 21 points
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Felicio: 11 Bucks: Henson: 12
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Payne: 6 Bucks: Middleton: 6
CCI 24 SECONDS: The Bulls took Fred Hoiberg’s message to heart as unlike Wednesday’s lethargic performance against Denver , the Bulls took it to the Bucks early and played a competitive ballgame before Milwaukee pulled away in large part due to the play of their bench as they scored a combined 70 points . Shabazz Muhamnad, Tony Snell and Brandon Jennings played a key role in the Bucks’ ending a mini two game slide as they handed the Bulls their fourth straight loss.
But as my CCI readers know, there is always some sunshine in the clouds. Cam Payne with another strong game of 17-4-6 . Cristiano Felicio registered his second double-double in the past four games. Felicio is playing with more confidence and is aggressively attacking the baskets on slip cuts and puck and rolls. Bobby Portis keeps stuffing the stat sheet logging his seventh straight game scoring 15 or more points (16 points 6 rebound).
NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
Golden State 106 Atlanta 94. Steph Curry suffered an apparent sprained MCL of the left knee. The Warriors are holding their collective breath.
Things can change in a hurry in the NBA. After winning 13 straight Portland has dropped its last two, both at home. Boston 105 Blazers 100. Marcus Morris with 30. Irving missed his fifth game with a knee injury.
Toronto 116 Nets 112 Lowry with a triple-double. The Raps go to 30-6 at home, best in the NBA.
Minnesota 108 NY 104 The T-Wolves are assured of their first winning record since 2005. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a career high 39 for the Knicks.
San Antonio 124 Utah 120 OT LaMarcus Aldridge with a career high 45.
OKC 105 Miami 99 Westbrook with 17 of his 29 in the fourth quarter.
Indiana 109 LAC 104 The Pacers improve to 42-31. Honestly, I did not see this coming. Indiana is on the verge of making the playoffs for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.
Always a pleasure!