There will come a time in the playoffs when the Chicago Bulls will regret wasting their potential away with a series of losses it’ll be hard to explain. Dropping a game to the Detroit Pistons (100-91) isn’t the end of the world, but it shouldn’t be something that rings so familiar in a slightly underachieving season.
There are games when things still look bad and ugly for the Bulls on offense, while this defense is simply not at the level it was in previous seasons. The Detroit Pistons, at their current situation, shouldn’t be a team posing a problem for the Bulls trying to move up from third to second or even first if given the opportunity, but the Bulls, even with Mike Dunleavy in the lineup, have these games in which their offensive attempts can be painful to watch.
Not that the Pistons, quite active before the trade deadline, are that bad. Andre Drummond is a beast with 18 points and 20 rebounds, while Greg Monroe and Caron Butler led the team with 20 points. But this team is leaking away talent and wasn’t even playing Reggie Jackson who will have a chance to fill in the shoes of Brandon Jennings. And yet the Pistons looked explosive at times, or at least more than the somewhat inhibited Bulls.
Derrick Rose was just 2-of-9 from the field for 8 points while Dunleavy scored a big fat zero. Taj Gibson (15 points) was the only one off the bench to show up, Pau Gasol found it difficult against another strong offensive line and the only to play above his usual level was Jimmy Butler, the team’s MVP this season, scoring 30 points. However, Rose, an actual NBA MVP in the past, is this team’s X-factor. More nights like these means a championship dream which can be boosted by home court advantage for more than one playoff series slowly fading away.