Cincinnati.com
National Basketball Association
Preview
Detroit at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 20, 2018
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois

The Detroit Pistons are looking to take steps forward under new coach Dwane Casey, who is still learning his new players. The Pistons will try to make it two straight wins to open the season on Saturday when they visit the Chicago Bulls, who struggled on the defensive end while dropping their opener.

Casey guided the Toronto Raptors to the best record in the Eastern Conference last season and is trying to mold Detroit into a contender while getting used to a new crop of players. "The one thing we’ve got to do a better job of is executing at the end of the game," Casey told reporters. "A lot of that is my fault because of familiarity of what guys do and can’t do in certain situations. I'm learning them, they're learning me - my vocabulary, what I'm saying. We had some mix-ups down the stretch (in a 103-100 opening night win over the Brooklyn Nets) where we didn't execute and were fighting the shot clock. We'll do a better job with that." Chicago is trying to put together its team of the future but is having some trouble getting all of the pieces on the court together. The Bulls struggled to defend without point guard Kris Dunn (personal) and small forward Lauri Markkanen (elbow) out of the lineup on Thursday and suffered a 127-108 loss at Philadelphia.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Detroit-plus, NBCS Chicago

ABOUT THE PISTONS (1-0): Detroit is beginning its first full season with the frontcourt tandem of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, and the early returns were very positive. Griffin scored a team-high 26 points in the opener while Drummond dominated the interior with 24 points and 20 rebounds. "Blake did an incredible job of picking up the slack while I was out of the game defensively and offensively," Drummond told reporters. "He did a great job of being tough and taking it to the hoop and getting fouled. Both of us together is quite the tandem. I really enjoy playing with him."

ABOUT THE BULLS (0-1): Chicago is hoping Dunn, 24, and Markkanen, 21, can join guard Zach LaVine, 23, power forward Jabari Parker, 23, and rookie power forward Wendell Carter Jr., 19, as the foundation of the team's next playoff contender, but the five have yet to play a game together. Power forward Bobby Portis, 23, could fit into those future plans as well and started over Parker on Thursday, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes. LaVine led the way with 30 points but also committed five of the team's 12 turnovers.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Pistons SF Stanley Johnson (toe) sat out the opener but is expected to play Saturday.

2. Bulls SG Denzel Valentine (ankle) missed the opener and is questionable for Saturday.

3. Detroit took three of the four meetings last season, including a 119-87 victory at Chicago in the regular-season finale.

PREDICTION: Pistons 109, Bulls 98
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Detroit 1-0 W2 1-0 0-0 0-0 1-0 0-0 1-0
Chicago 0-1 L2 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1
Last Meeting
Detroit Chicago
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/11/18 DET 119 CHI 87 119 47 52.8 87 40 37.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Detroit L. Kennard 23 57.1 4
Chicago L. Markkanen 20 53.8 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Detroit E. Moreland 17 4 13
Chicago L. Markkanen 8 2 6
Assists Player  
Detroit R. Jackson 10
Chicago C. Payne 9
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Detroit A. Drummond 125 49.1 16
Chicago Z. LaVine 119 53.2 26
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Detroit A. Drummond 91 35 56
Chicago J. Parker 40 6 34
Assists Player  
Detroit I. Smith 36
Chicago C. Payne 21
Quickchart Matchup
Detroit Detroit Off vs  Chicago Chicago Defense
Detroit Off vs Chicago - Points For 103.0 Points For
Detroit Off vs Chicago - Points Against 127.0 Points Against
Detroit - FG% 42.4 FG%
Chicago - FG% 47.3 FG%
Detroit - Reb 46.0 Reb
Chicago - Reb 55.0 Reb
Chicago Chicago Off vs  Detroit Detroit Defense
Chicago Off vs Detroit - Points For 108.0 Points For
Chicago Off vs Detroit - Points Against 100.0 Points Against
Chicago - FG% 43.6 FG%
Detroit - FG% 48.8 FG%
Chicago - Reb 39.0 Reb
Detroit - Reb 39.0 Reb