By Richard Kagan
The Chicago Bulls were rocked by the Detroit Pistons in the last game of the season that finally ended. The Bulls (27-55) were significantly short-handed and didn’t offer much of a fight as the Pistons took an early 14 lead after the first quarter. That lead ballooned to 16 points at half-time.
The Pistons got solid contributions team-wide and they had the hot hand throughout the game. The team shot 57.8% from the floor and went 10-19 from long-distance. The Bulls made only 37% of its shots and 11 of 34 from three point land. The Pistons outscored the Bulls by 12 in the final frame and led by as much as 34 points.
Forward Lauri Markkanen scored 20 points and closed out a strong rookie season. Newcomer Sean Kilpatrick got the starting nod at Guard and added 14 points.
The Pistons were led by Luke Kennard’s 23 points. Eric Moreland scored 16 and had a double-double, hauling in 17 boards. Anthony Tolliver scored 18 for Detroit. Henry Ellenson added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
One thing is for certain, the Bulls will pick 7th in the lottery and that is a season unto itself. Now the speculation will be focused on that pick and the other first round pick that the Bulls obtained in the Niko Mirotic trade.
There has been much written about which players the Bulls will want back for next season. Most Bulls will be returning. Markkanen, Kris Dunn, and Zach LaVine will form the nucleus for next season’s starters.
Of course, who the Bulls land in the first round is the big unanswered question.