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(Preseason) Mavs 88, Bulls 83: Savvy vets Bogans and Thomas, Bad rebounding a trend?

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I didn't catch most of the second half, but up until that point I did write some stuff down (it happens):

  • Bulls started out real hot in the first quarter, but there were still some inside shots missed. It was even pointed out in the broadcast as a problem in the first game, and seeing Noah make a nice face-up drive only to be blocked just cemented it: without Boozer, the paint production will look a like last year. For his part, Noah made the same move in the second half and converted. He's getting more confident in his face-up game, and with his shot improving every season it truly makes him a threat now.
  • Also big early was the three-point shooting, and Keith Bogans went 3-3 in the game from there. Deng also had a nice corner-three in the first half. It's so nice to see, but it shows how much it'll be needed all season. Even Korver only was 1-3. And while I'm excited to have Ronnie Brewer back, that will remove even more 3-pointers from the offense (not saying it won't be better overall instead of Bogans). Rose also took a few three-pointers (and missed) but it's looking like there was no magic summer improvement on that front (not that it should've been expected).
  • In addition to Bogans in the realm of the vets, Kurt Thomas also looked good.  (I used the word 'savvy' tonight since CSNChicago's Aggrey Sam used it twice to compliment the guy). I was especially impressed by his ability to pass in the high post. Clearly a smart player, and he's put up decent big man assist rates in his career, so I can see how he can be used as a sub for Noah in the offense while running similar things.
  • Also of note for Thomas is that he came in the game before Omer Asik (so did Scal, ugh). But again, and maybe it's low expectations, but Asik is intriguing to watch. He won't be exactly fluid on offense, but he made a couple nice defensive plays and he can run down the court hard.
  • CJ Watson didn't play, so John Lucas was the backup PG. And he showed why he's the 3rd string PG. I'll give Lucas one thing, he was aggressive looking for his shot. So he can be a smaller version of Pargo, without the Pargo spell that was cast on coaches in thinking he was good: nobody expects Lucas to play much.
  • James Johnson had a nice stretch in the 2nd quarter with three straight jumpers, but I see now they were his only points of the game. And even those shots weren't exactly in the flow of the offense, they'd be derided as 'bad shots' by Neil/Stacy if they missed, or if he was Danilo Gallinari
  • Also on the non-guaranteed front, Kyle Weaver's first-half contribution wasn't bad at all.
  • How about Dallas' bench. Jason Terry, JJ Barea, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler. Tax-paying has its benefits, if not efficiencies.
  • Go Thibs.
  • Bulls gave up 18 offensive rebounds tonight, and KC Johnson mentioned it as a focus of Thibodeau post-game. It's an early concern because rebounding was supposed to be a strength of this team. Another area where Boozer helps, obviously.