Tonight at 7:00 ET, the two undefeated NBA Central Division teams will play in the Palace of Auburn Hills for supremacy.
The Detroit Pistons, coming off a 92-87 home win against the Utah Jazz have been nothing short of competitive for their first two NBA games this year. The 2-0 start for Detroit marks the first time since 2009 that the Pistons have obtained an above ,500 record at any point of the season.
On the other hand, the Chicago Bulls, coming off of wins against the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers look to get to an early lead in the Central Rankings. With new coach Fred Hoidberg, the Bulls have seemed to finally adjust to a balance of offense and defense, contrary to former coach Tom Thibodeau’s philosophy.
Both teams have had very good wins to start out the season. The Pistons gave the Atlanta Hawks their first loss of the season, something considered unexpected for a young and slowly rising Pistons squad.
The Chicago Bulls won their home opener against the projected NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. While the win was a great way to start off the season, the win was not pretty nonetheless.
Both teams have experienced a share of issues throughout the start of the season.
The Pistons’ Jodie Meeks suffered a Jones Fracture against Utah, and the timetable of his return has yet to be given. This hurts a bench that has been struggling for the first two games.
Chicago’s win against Cleveland was somewhat a worrisome victory, as Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol struggled from the field against a Kyrie Irving-less Cavaliers team. However, against Brooklyn, both improved vastly.
Despite the issues with each team, both teams have had an enormous amount of success, specifically surrounding their starters.
The Pistons’ new 4-in 1-out offensive system has worked as of late. Coach Stan Van Gundy’s acquisitions in the offseason have played well to start out the season. Marcus Morris and Ersan Ilysova have played very well in the new offense, and have created an enormous amount of space for star center Andre Drummond.
Drummond has dominated the paint in his first two games. It is important to note that Drummond has played against Hawks’ center Al Horford and Jazz head-coach Quin Snyder’s paint protection defensive set.
The rise of Reggie Jackson can be seen as well. Jackson’s ability to drive the lane has been thoroughly showcased throughout the new NBA season. With so much more space, Jackson now has the ability to prove himself under his new contract, which some analysts and writers deem as the worst contract in the NBA.
In Illinois, the Bulls have seen a new rise in offensive ability, as new starter and NBA sophomore Nikola Mirotic has thrived in his role at power forward. Also, Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose came back to form against the Brooklyn Nets on October 28th.
Jimmy Butler has risen as an emerging star for Chicago. His growth has been phenomenal, and his leadership abilities have really shown for the Bulls. His offensive output has clearly shown improvement, pouring in the points in the first two games, while showcasing his renowned defense.
Both teams will undeniably be looking to get off to a 3-0 start, and the match-up tonight at 7:00 should be a good one for viewers. Fred Hoidberg will look to start his coaching career 3-0, and the Pistons will look to win another game to add to their early season resume.