Chicago Bulls +4 (40-40) at Detroit Pistons -4 (39-41) 7:30 PM ET Monday April 13, 2009 on NBA TV
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Tonight the red-hot Chicago Bulls travel to Motor City to play the Detroit Pistons. Last week both of these teams secured playoff spots, but since then it has been all Bulls who have moved past the Pistons for the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. This game is for all the marbles, as the loser of this game will probably face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.
Even though the Cavs have the best record in the East the Pistons are just happy they made the playoffs after their difficult season. Obviously Allen Iverson was not the Answer they were looking for and they have not looked like the team that has made the Eastern Conference Finals the past few years.
The Bulls are playing their best ball of the season as the playoffs approach, as they have won 4 in a row and are 8-2 in their last 10 games, while the Pistons are coming off a loss and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
This season the Pistons are 21-19 at home and the Bulls are only 12-28 in away games.
Hoops bookies have the Pistons favored by 4 points with a total around 196.5. The Pistons are posted at -180 as home favorites an the Bulls are posted at +160 as road dogs.
The Pistons come into this game after a costly loss on Saturday 106-102 to the Indiana Pacers. The high scorer for the Pistons in that game was Richard Hamilton going for 23 points on 10/23 shooting. For the game the Pistons shot 37/74 for a FG% of 50%. On defense the Pistons allowed the Pacers to shoot 40/88 from the floor for a FG% of 45.5%.
The Bulls come into this game after beating the Charlotte Bobcats 113-106 on Saturday. The high scorer for the Bulls in that game was Ben Gordon blowing up for 39 points on 13/25 shooting. For the game the Bulls shot 40/84 for a FG% of 47.6%. On D the Bulls allowed the Bobcats to shoot 38/76 for a FG% of 50%.
This season the Bulls rank 8th in scoring (102.2 ppg), while the Pistons only rank 28th (94.2 ppg). On defense the Pistons rank 6th in points allowed (94.5 ppg) and the Bulls rank 21st (102.5 ppg). The Pistons are a better team on the boards, as they have a rebounding differential of +1.1 rpg and the Bulls are at -0.4 rpg.
This season people betting on the Pistons are none too happy, as they are only 34-44 ATS, while the Bulls are decent at 40-37-2. In terms of Over/Under games the Pistons are 37-40-1 this season and the Bulls are 44-35.
The key to this game will be which team can play their game. The Bulls like to run and gun and put up a lot of points, while the Pistons like to slow it down and play a defensive game.
Antonio McDyess (9.6 ppg 9.7 ppg) had a good game going for 16 points and
grabbing 15 rebounds in the loss to the Pacers and the Bulls need him to
put up those numbers against the Bulls, who are soft on the inside. The
Bulls will have to keep McDyess and Rasheed Wallace (12.3 ppg 7.5 rpg) from
dominating the glass tonight.
If Wallace is knocking down the outside shot and gives the Pistons some offense from the paint it will be difficult for the Bulls to win.
The Pistons have to slow down the pace in this game and to do that they will have to play good perimeter defense on Derrick Rose (16.7 ppg) and Ben Gordon (20.7 ppg). Gordon went for 39 points in the Bulls last win and the Pistons cannot let him repeat that performance.
Richard Hamilton (18.1 ppg) will have to have a good scoring game tonight in order for the Pistons to win, as they do not have many scoring options.
These teams have played 3 times this season with the home team winning each time, as the Bulls have won twice and the Pistons have won once.
The Bulls cannot only secure the 7th seed in the playoffs with a win tonight in Detroit, but they can also gain some confidence going into the playoffs knowing they can win on the road. This season the Bulls are 16 games under .500 (12-28) away from the Windy City.
Jason’s Pick: I’m not sure the Bulls are going to pull out a win in Detroit as the Pistons are a seasoned team that can pull it together when they need to, but I do like them to stay with in the 4 points and cover the point spread.