The Detroit Pistons are looking to continue improving their standing in the Eastern Conference and continue a three-game winning streak on Saturday night in their matchup with the Chicago Bulls. As has been the case over their small winning streak, their frontcourt will be key to their success.
Second-year big man Andre Drummond has looked like one of the best big men in the NBA lately, going on an absolute tear over their last three wins. In those three games he is averaging 21.7 points, 18.7 rebounds, 3.3 steals and two blocks per game while shooting 24-35 from the field and turning the ball over once per game. His frontcourt mate, Greg Monroe, has been solid in their last two as well, combining for 34 points, 23 rebounds, eight assists and four blocks over those two wins.
As they face off with Chicago, but Pistons need to be wise and exploit the favorable matchups they get in the post against the Bulls. When I say favorable matchup in regards to Chicago, I mean that the Pistons need to feed whichever of their big men has Carlos Boozer guarding them.
Boozer has had a really nice season for the Bulls and has probably been their most consistent offensive option. However, his defensive issues have done anything but go away. With Boozer on the floor this season, the Bulls are giving up 104 points per 100 possessions. In contrast, Chicago is giving up only 95.9 points per 100 possessions defensively when Boozer is on the bench. That discrepancy is hardly a coincidence.
Obviously the Bulls can try and combat the Pistons’ frontcourt by giving Taj Gibson more minutes on Saturday night, but I still believe that Drummond and Monroe have a distinct advantage in this matchup. It will depend on how the Bulls choose to match up with the Pistons defensively, but I would expect one of the Pistons’ two big men to have a big game and cause the Bulls some problems.