2010-11 Game Preview #43: Bulls vs. Dallas Mavericks

[Thanks to snley for today's game preview. National TV tonight, 7pm on TNT. I'll be in attendance so expect some tweets as well as a fairly-lame recap. Boozer's currently 'questionable'. -ed.]

The Mavericks come to Chicago on the latter half of a back to back. Last night, they ended a 6 game losing streak by beating the Lakers 109 - 100 at home. With Dirk Nowtizki and Tyson Chandler both back in the line up, they should be closer to the title contender the Bulls battled back in November.

The Bulls used a strong fourth quarter in the previous meeting to walk away with an 88-83 win. The pace for that game was a miserably slow 82.6 meaning the offense was better than you might expect from such a low scoring game. What seems to have won that game for the Bulls was a huge advantage on the glass as Taj pulled in 8 offensive boards and Noah had 5 of his own. The rest of the team combined for 7 more giving the team an incredible 44.4% ORB% for the game. With Boozer and Noah out tonight, it's going to be difficult to repeat that performance.

Still, the game is far from already lost as the Mavericks are trying to get their feet under them. Dirk missed 9 games earlier and upon his return Chandler missed 2 games of his own. As most know, Caron Butler was also lost for the season. In last night's game, head coach Rick Carlisle actually started Sasha Pavlovic. This was a follow up to starting Brian Cardinal a pair of games when Dirk was out. Still feel like whining about Bogans in the starting line up? Well, I do, but Cardinal and Pavlovic are pretty bad in their own rights.

Jason Kidd and DeShawn Stevenson round out the starting line up. Jason Terry, though, is the real SG on this team as he averages 32 minutes/game compared to Stevenson's 18. The former Sixth Man of the Year is making another push for the award this season, playing the second most minutes on the team despite only starting 10 times.

The Mavericks are an old team that like to play a half court game. It'd be nice to see the Bulls push the tempo but that seems unlikely to happen. With Chandler and Brandon Haywood pairing up to handle the post, going small with Taj and Deng at C and PF is not going to work. That should mean plenty minutes for Kurt Thomas and, hopefully, Omer Asik.

In the end, I feel pretty comfortable with the Bulls chances tonight. Dirk's a bad matchup for Boozer on the defensive end, so it may not be a terrible thing for him to be out tonight. While Dallas has depth, it's mostly older role players, so the Bulls are unlikely to be overwhelmed by talent. I'd expect the defense to be strong again and the offense relying on the brilliance of Rose and someone else stepping up. I know, going out on a limb and expecting things to be different from how they've gone the rest of the season. Anyways, here's hoping Deng or Korver is able to get hot.

Blogging with the enemy: Mavs Moneyball

PS Go Bears!

Stats from



Off Rtg

105.9 (18)

107.6 (14)

Def Rtg

100.0 (1)

104.9 (11)


91.9 (18)

90.2 (25)


.498 (16)

.516 (6)


.139 (20)

.134 (16)


.280 (7)

.224 (29)



.215 (25)

Opp eFG%

.462 (1)

.488 (12)

Opp TOV%

.142 (8)

.130 (22)


.749 (12)

.746 (14)


.221 (8)

.201 (3)

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