Friday, March 8 at 8:00 PM ET
Coverage: NBA League Pass
Two surging teams clash when the Detroit Pistons visit the Chicago Bulls on Friday. The Pistons have won six of their last seven games, including three straight while the Bulls are coming off an impressive win against the 76ers.
Blake Griffin has been playing incredibly well for the Pistons this season but he struggled in Wednesday's 131-114 home win against the Timberwolves, when he scored just nine points on 4-for-13 shooting. With Griffin's shots not falling the Pistons' bench stepped up, scoring 70 points while Andre Drummond exploded for 31 points and 15 rebounds.
Luke Kennard led the reserves with 21 points and Ish Smith added 19 as four Pistons bench players reached double figures. Drummond, who is averaging 21.6 points and 16.0 rebounds in the last 12 games, had his 16th straight double-double (the second-longest streak in franchise history behind the record of 18 he set last season).
Zach LaVine carried the Bulls with 39 points and hit the go-ahead layup in the closing seconds in Wednesday's 108-107 home win against the 76ers. LaVine was 14-for-26 from the field and he scored 13 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter to help the Bulls erase a 10-point deficit. Robin Lopez had 19 points and nine rebounds in the victory while Jimmy Butler finished with 22 points for the Sixers in his second game against his former team and Ben Simmons added 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
The Detroit Pistons are:
1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in Chicago
The Chicago Bulls are:
7-2 ATS in their last nine Friday games
The Pistons can win this game if Drummond and Griffin dominate at both ends of the floor but they also need another solid effort from their bench, they have to step up and contribute on offense.
The Bulls were able to beat the 76ers despite going just 6-for-23 (26.1 percent) from 3-point range and they won't beat the Pistons or even cover unless they have better shot selection from distance.
This game will come down to Lauri Markkanen, LaVine and Porter Jr. had productive games against the 76ers, especially LaVine but Markkanen picked up two fouls in the first two minutes of the game and scored just 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting and 0-for-3 from distance.
Markkanen has to produce on offense like he can and help contain Griffin on defense or the Bulls won't keep up with the Pistons. The home team is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings and I see them giving the Pistons all they got.
NBA Pick: Bulls +3.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzsportsON