The Chicago Bulls captured their third-straight win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night, 108-96.
There is a lot to discuss from this recent impressive win-streak. The Bulls have beaten the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, and now the Detroit Pistons in their last three games.
Do the Bulls have a shot to make it back into the play-in tournament?
Maybe. For now, let’s check out how the Bulls got past the worst team in the Eastern Conference, and what they need to continue to make their playoff dreams come true.
- The Bulls played without Daniel Theis and Troy Brown tonight. The Pistons were incredibly short-handed, with Jerami Grant headlining the inactive list.
- The Bulls got off to an incredible start, leading 57-39 at halftime. Defensively, the Bulls showed excellent execution on the floor — keeping the Pistons to 39 points and shooting 37.5 percent from the floor in the first half.
- The Bulls had just three turnovers in the first half and nine total in the game. The Pistons recorded 14 in the game and five at the half. The Bulls impressively took 17 points off the PIstons’ turnovers, compared to their six.
- Chicago ran in transition well more than they usually do. Fans saw emphatic jams from “flight-eight,” Zach LaVine, and Javonte Green. They ended with nine fast-break points.
- LaVine had a productive game with 30 points, three rebounds, and six assists. He shot over 50 percent from the floor. His work from mid-range and off the pick-and-roll with Nikola Vucevic was outstanding.
- Vucevic recorded 29 points, 16 rebounds, and two assists. Vucevic did a nice job handling the paint on defense, contributing to the Bulls winning the paint 46-44. On the negative side, he allowed rookie Isaiah Stewart 19 points (averages 7.7 this season).
- Coby White followed up his 25-point night against Boston with a 21-point, four rebound, and three assist night against the Pistons on Sunday night. His work with Vucevic through the pick-and-roll stood out. His performances off the bench are creating a calming reassurance that White can be effective off the bench next season.
- Markkanen suffered off the bench with two points. He contributed to missing several defensive shifts under the rim caused by back cuts from the Pistons’ offense. Is his time in Chicago running short?
- Javonte Green has seen more playing time as of recent with the Bulls. He has played in the last three games and has shown hustle on the floor. He finished with four points in 13 minutes against the Pistons.
- The Bulls won the hustle game all around the stat sheet. They won rebounds, assists, steals, fast-break points, and points in the paint.
What’s next for the Bulls?
The Bulls have four games left in their arsenal before the regular season comes to an end. Their remaining opponents include the Brooklyn Nets twice, the Toronto Raptors, and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Obviously, their remaining schedule is extremely difficult, making this playoff push seem impossible. The Bulls are 3.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers for the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.
The Pacers’ remaining schedule includes the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Toronto Raptors.
The only bright side for the Bulls in this situation is that they do own the tiebreaker against the Pacers (2-1 head-to-head record).
The Bulls have a 26.2 percent chance of landing their draft pick for the 2021 NBA draft, meaning they would retain the first-round pick that they traded to the Orlando Magic back on Mar. 25.