Bulls vs Pistons Preview and Free Pick [12/6/2016]

Chicago (11-9) at Detroit (11-11)
When: Tuesday, December 6th 2016
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: CSN Chicago, FSN Detroit

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Rajon Rondo will be back in the lineup for the Chicago Bulls tonight as they visit the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Rondo was suspended one game for reportedly having a heated verbal exchange with an assistant coach, and the shorthanded Bulls were unable to finish a late rally in falling 112-110 to Portland at home last night. Dwyane Wade scored 34 points in the loss as Chicago has lost consecutive games for the first time since the beginning of November. Coach Fred Hoiberg said that the plan is for Wade to play in Detroit despite the team’s recent practice of resting him in the second half of back-to-backs. Wade has sat out the last two back-to-back finales after averaging 8.5 points on 23.1% shooting in two such games earlier this season. Jerian Grant took Rondo’s spot in the starting lineup Monday and struggled mightily, scoring five points on 1-of-7 shooting. Jimmy Butler, who scored 26 points in Monday’s loss for Chicago, averaged 27.5 points and 9.8 rebounds in four meetings with Detroit in 2015-16. After tonight, the Bulls play six of their next seven games at home.


The Pistons welcomed back point guard Reggie Jackson, who made his season debut in Sunday’s 98-92 loss to the Orlando Magic. Jackson finished with 18 points and four assists in 23 minutes and will be going up against a Bulls team that he averaged 23.5 points per game last season, his highest scoring average against an Eastern Conference opponent. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored just nine points in the loss to Orlando but the Pistons were a +13 when he was on the floor. Caldwell-Pope boasts career highs in scoring (15 points per game), assists (2.9), 3-point shooting (38.7%) and foul shooting (82.5%), while also cutting down on his turnovers. Marcus Morris is 11-for-23 from 3-point land in his last four games after going 2-for-12 in the previous four. The Pistons continue to play strong defense and are second in the league in scoring defense (97.0) and third in field goal percentage defense (43.4%). Detroit has won five of their last seven overall.

Even if Wade doesn’t go tonight, I think the Bulls have enough fire-power with Rondo back in the lineup to keep this one close. 5.5 points is a lot for two teams that I think are pretty equal right now.

Pick: Bulls +5.5