(SportsNetwork.com) – The Chicago Bulls attempt to get back on track when they
host the Central Division-rival Detroit Pistons Monday at the United Center.
The Bulls had a four-game winning streak stopped with Saturday’s 106-101 loss
to the Boston Celtics, as former NBA MVP Derrick Rose missed his second
straight game with sprained ankles. Head coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose is not
ready to go yet and everyone “has to step up.”
“Injuries are part of the game. So if a guy is not comfortable going, he’s not
going to go,” Thibodeau told the Chicago Tribune. “You just go to the next
guy. Get out there and get it done.”
Rose is listed as questionable Monday and is averaging 15.3 points and 5.2
assists in three games.
Aaron Brooks stepped up in the loss to Boston with 26 points off the bench and
Pau Gasol chipped in 19 and nine rebounds. Jimmy Butler scored 16 points and
both Mike Dunleavy and Joakim Noah ended with 13.
“I just wanted to be a spark,” Brooks said. “I just wanted to give us a chance
to win it.”
Noah also grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out six assists for Chicago, which
had only eight turnovers and managed to outscore the Celtics, 34-23, in the
The Bulls are sixth in the NBA with 104.3 points per game and are allowing
99.4 ppg on the defensive end.
Detroit had won two in a row before dropping a 97-96 decision to the Utah Jazz
on Sunday, as Brandon Jennings scored 14 of his 23 points in the third quarter
and was outdone by Jazz guard Gordon Hayward, who had 11 in the fourth.
“We just got relaxed as a team,” said Jennings. “We let teams get back into
Jennings missed a floater at the buzzer. Greg Monroe had 19 points and 11
rebounds, Josh Smith scored 13 points and Andre Drummond ended with 11 points
and 18 rebounds for the Pistons. Detroit shot 38.7 percent and made 6-of-23 3-
pointers. It sank 18-of-25 free throws and went 2-2 on the homestand.
“We have to do a better job of making free throws, and that includes me,” said
Jennings, who made all four of his foul shots. “If that means staying after
practice then that’s what we have to do.”
The Pistons, who will begin a four-game trek Monday, lost three of four
meetings with the Bulls last season and have dropped 21 of the past 23 games
in this series.
Detroit has lost 15 of its past 16 visits to the Windy City.