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Bulls vs. Mavericks Game Preview and Open Thread

Dunn is back

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (0-2) at Dallas Mavericks (1-1)

7:30 p.m., NBC Chicago Sports

Injury Report:

After missing the Bulls first two regular season games to welcome his new son into the world, Kris Dunn will rejoin the Bulls for the game tonight.

Lauri Markkanen ditched his elbow brace recently, but won’t be riding in on his white horse to save the Bulls anytime soon. Denzel Valentine continues to experience setbacks with his ankle, and will remain out for at least two more weeks.

On the enemy’s side, Harrison Barnes will miss the game tonight with a hamstring strain. Old man Dirk Nowitzki will continue to sit out with a sore left ankle. Devin Harris is also out.

Preview:

Please don’t watch this game angry.

Wait never mind, we root for the Bulls. Let’s rephrase that. Please don’t spend this game lusting over Luka Doncic and thinking about how the Bulls could have him on their team if they tanked competently or traded up on draft night. There are enough reasons why the Bulls are currently maddening, so don’t add another item from the past. Wendell Carter Jr. is great, it’s just that Doncic would have been greater. Okay, I’ll stop....

The Mavericks have an exciting young backcourt with Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. They most certainly don’t have a point guard problem. Their third string point guard J.J. Barea is definitely better than anybody the Bulls have at that position besides Dunn.

As Mark detailed in September, Dunn might be the most important player on the team this season. Tonight will be the first chance to see if that theory works in practice. Seeing how the offense looks with him running it and how the shots get divvied out is an important storyline to follow the rest of the season.