Bulls Lose in Sloppy OT Affair to Unbeaten Detroit Pistons


After not being able to miss on Wednesday night in Brooklyn, the Chicago Bulls couldn’t buy a shot to fall in an ugly-looking 98-94 loss to the now 3-0 Detroit Pistons.

Friday night’s match-up between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons had a bit of intrigue, despite the game being the third of the year for both teams. In the third game in four nights for both teams, the younger Pistons outlasted the Bulls in a Eastern Conference-like affair and improved to 3-0 with a 98-94 win over the Bulls.

This game wasn’t pretty by any means. The Bulls and Pistons combined for 33 turnovers, 13-of-50 shooting from beyond the three-point line, and neither team shot above 41 percent from the field. The score’s pretty telling when neither team cracked the triple-digit mark in an overtime game during this era of the NBA.

For the Bulls, the only real positive takeaway is that everyone that’s played so far this season is healthy through three games. Friday was bad.

Notes from Friday’s loss

  • Derrick Rose looked like a guy who is playing with double vision. Rose shot 4-of-13 from the floor with a plus-minus of -14. The former MVP started 0-of-6 from the field before making a little push late in the ballgame … until the final possession of regulation with the score tied.

Rose has hit this shot in the past — specifically in one of the two home losses for the Golden State Warriors all last season — but with Rose suffering from double vision still, this was a horrendous shot in the final seconds.

(Also, look closely at the top right of the screen. Fred Hoiberg was pushing for Rose to attack and even mentioned that he wanted Rose to attack during the final possession.)

  • The Bulls looked really rough on the defensive end on Friday night.

From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

"The Bulls surrendered 20 offensive rebounds to the Pistons and rank 27th in the NBA in allowing 15.7 per game. That’s a lot of extra possessions.“You can’t win that way,” coach Fred Hoiberg said."

Andre Drummond was an animal against the Bulls, grabbing nine of those 20 offensive boards by himself. It was the fourth time in the last six games that Drummond had 20 rebounds against the Bulls.

Not only were the Bulls a -11 on the window (61-50), the defense as a whole has issues. There was a lot of switching for the Bulls in pick-and-roll plays for Detroit on Friday and the communication appeared to be lacking. The Bulls were all over the place and not in the right places far too often.

Case and point: Detroit made five more field goals than the Bulls on Friday (39-34). The catch with that stat is, Detroit took 20(!) more shots than the Bulls did (104-84).

  • ‘Quote of the Night’ goes to Jimmy Butler:
    • “We’re being reckless with the ball,” Butler said. “It cost us the game, along with offensive rebounds. We’re making lazy passes, trying to catch passes with one hand, trying to thread the needle. It’s easily correctable. We have to make it happen. … We’ll be fine. We can’t be stuck on this one too long.”

Butler had a rough night himself, shooting just 5-of-19 from the field. The positives from Butler was that he pulled down 11 rebounds and hit 12-of-14 attempts from the free throw line. Only five players shot more free throws than Butler did all last season.

Final Thoughts:

To borrow a word from a long-time rival of the city of Chicago: “R-E-L-A-X.”

There’s two takeaways that are bigger than most of the others from this loss:

  1. Nights like these happen in the NBA. It’s an 82-game season.
  2. Detroit is going to do this to a ton of teams this season. Their first two wins this year? Atlanta (East’s No. 1 seed in 2014-15) and Utah (a sneaky sleeper in the West). This team is good.

For the Bulls, it’s about finding ways to make plays on both ends of the floor. On Friday, there was no balance. Once it appeared the Bulls were finding a groove on offense, they couldn’t get stops (and vice-versa). It was just an ugly game all-around for the Bulls.

Next: NBA and adidas unveil this year's Christmas Day uniforms

Starting on Sunday night, the Bulls have a busy week with four games, including three games (all at home) against teams filled with youth (Orlando, Oklahoma City and Minnesota).