What: Detroit Pistons vs. Chicago Bulls
Where: United Center Chicago, IL
The Detroit Pistons are coming off a game where they once again blew a lead in the 4th quarter. The Pistons fell to the Utah Jazz 97-96 and are coming off a 2-2 home stand. They now go on a road trip that starts in Detroit’s house of horrors, the United Center. The Pistons have won just one game at the United Center since 2006 and that was last season when the Bulls were missing Derrick Rose. Rose is expected to be back for this game and the Pistons will have to prepare accordingly. Let’s see want the keys are to this game.
1.) The Bulls have all of sudden become an offensive juggernaut scoring 104.3 points per game, tops in the league. However, they give up 99.4 per game which is 29th in the league. In contrast, the Pistons give up 95.8 points per game and they score just 92 per game. If the Pistons want to escape Chicago with a win, they have to slow this game down to a crawl and have the Bulls play at their pace. Make it a struggle for them to score and the Pistons will have a better chance at winning.
2.) Please Stan Van Gundy, I’m begging you, give Andre Drummond more playing time. Through the first six games, Van Gundy has been sitting Drummond due to his free throw shooting and due to his foul trouble. However, his rebounding and his put back garbage points are too valuable to keep on the bench. Just leave Drummond out there with Greg Monroe and you will be alright. In his last game against Chicago, Drummond had 26 points and 26 rebounds in April. I can see a repeat performance in this one.
3.) The 4th quarter execution needs to get better. I can not say it enough. When you are blowing leads in the 4th quarter at home to teams like the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Utah Jazz: it’s unacceptable. Luckily, the Pistons were able to escape with wins against New York and Milwaukee, it came back to bite them against Utah. They can not expect to continue to play like this in the 4th quarter and be successful. Detroit has the talent to win games consistently, but if they are not going to go out there and execute and put the work in, they they are not going to win games.
This is not a young team anymore. Josh Smith has been in the league for nine years, this is his 10th. This is Brandon Jennings‘ 6th season, Monroe has been in the league for four seasons, and then you have veterans like Caron Butler and D.J. Augustin. This team is not a young team. You can not use that excuse for the 4th quarter struggles anymore. It just can not happen. Van Gundy needs to get this problem under control and help move this team forward.