Chicago Bulls Vs. Detroit Pistons

ROUND TWO - Eastern Conference
Chicago Bulls Vs. Detroit Pistons

The fifth-seed Chicago Bulls (49- 33) are hot off a four-game sweep of the Miami Heat, the league’s defending champs. The best team in the East, the first-seed Detroit Pistons (53- 29) also swept their initial series against eighth-seed Orlando. The Bulls meet the Pistons on Saturday, May 5 in Detroit at 7 pm ET for the first game of their semifinal matchup.

Former Piston and now Bull center Ben Wallace brings a dominant presence to the floor, averaging 10.7 RPG. Inside, Wallace leaves the majority of the point scoring to Luol Deng (18.8 PPG), who is also the team’s second-leading rebounder, averaging 7.1 per game. For Detriot, swingman Chris Webber has some solid tools. Webber averages 7.2 RPG and 11.2 PPG. Detriot power forward Rasheed Wallace (12.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG) outmatches the Bull’s PF P.J. Brown (6.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG), but Brown is a better team player. Rasheed Wallace has had trouble with officials and his coach all season and that volatility could create problems. Small forward Tayshaun Prince (14.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG) gives Detroit a third strong player upfront.

The Bulls guard Ben Gordon (21.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.6 APG) provides dependable point production, while point guard Kirk Hinrich (16.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 6.4 APG) is a solid playmaker with a 3-pointer that hits 42% of the time. He’s a good defensive player with 1.25 SPG, and he’s plus-2.39 on turnovers. Detroit shooting guard Richard Hamilton (19.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.8 APG) has been exceptional from the foul line at .861. The Piston’s point guard Chauncey Billups (17 PPG, 7.2 APG, 1.2 SPG) is one of the best two-way players around. He gave a monster effort against the Orlando Magic in this year’s first playoff series.

On average, the Chicago Bulls outmatch the Detroit Pistons in PPG, RPG, APG, FG% and 3-point percentage. However, at the foul line, the Pistons are 77.4%, while the Bulls are 73.4%. This could be a factor, especially because the Bulls tend to foul a bit, although not considerably more, than the Pistons.

On defense, Ben Wallace has been extremely effective, averaging 1.44 SPG and 2.03 BPG. Between them, Deng and Hinrich average 2.43 SPG and forward Tyrus Thomas has contributed 1.06 BPG. For the Pistons, Rasheed Wallace has 1.00 SPG and 1.57 BPG and Billups 1.20 SPG. Overall, the Pistons are +11.7 in turnovers; however, the Bulls have an important edge being +15.4 in that category.

If Chicago can be consistent under the boards and on defense they should be able to outmatch the Pistons, no matter how many foul shots Detroit takes, problem is we just don't see it happening. Bulls are still one player away from being a championship contendor.

Maddux Sports Series Prediction:

Detroit Pistons in 6 Games

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