Preseason Preview #5: Bulls vs. Mavericks, part II

After handily demolishing the Wizards and Raptors, it's back to dueling playoff-caliber opponents tonight as the Bulls take on the Dallas Mavericks at the United Center. No Taj, JOMER to start.

Taj Gibson will be out with a "sore heel", and the team continues to be cautious with Brewer - according to KC, he will play "a little more" than he did on Tuesday and may not play at all tomorrow night. No official word on who starts at the 2, but it's safe to assume it will be Keith Bogans. He's looked great so far, going 7 for 8 from behind the arc - Nick Friedell has a little piece on his performance here.

Those in favor of the twin towers "JOMER" lineup will be in for a treat, since according to KC Noah will start tonight at the 4 and Asik at the 5. We'll see how Noah does defending Dirk.    

CJ Watson looked much improved Tuesday after his less-than-inspiring initial preseason performance; Brewer looked a little lost, especially in the first half, and has probably benefitted from the extra reps in practice this week.

The Bulls now sit at 2-2, while the Mavs are 2-3. Dallas won the matchup a week ago, although as Doug Thonus notes that was partially due to Chicago limiting starters' minutes.

It will be interesting to see if the Bulls can replicate Tuesday's potent offensive display and dominance on the boards (44-22). Rose and Noah in particular looked great, with Noah posting an unbelievable +24 for the game (he had a game-high eight assists which was neat). James Johnson also has looked surprisingly competent, to the point that Brian Scalabrine may soon be the only viable option for scapegoat/whipping boy.

Also, it turns out Taj Gibson is a Yankees fan. I haven't been this disappointed since I saw the Dalai Lama wearing a Patriots hat.

You can catch the game on CSN and NBA TV.

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