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Bulls vs. Mavericks Game Preview and Open Thread

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game neither team probably wants to win

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (20-41) vs. Dallas Mavericks (18-42)

7 p.m., WGN

Injury Report:

Nothing significant on the Mavericks injury front outside of the Seth Curry season-ending leg surgery that we’ve known about since the beginning of February.

Bulls forward Paul Zipser will continue to sit with a sore left foot. This is the fourth game he’s missed in a row with this injury.

The Last Time:

The Bulls made the grave mistake of beating the Mavericks 127-124 when the two teams met in Dallas at the beginning of January.

The Bulls exploded for 47 points in the fourth quarter and hit all 13 of their free throws in the final 1:08 of the game to erase a 12-point deficit at the end of the third quarter and walk away with a victory. Kris Dunn had a career high 32 points while distributing nine assists, and Justin Holiday poured in 23 points. The Bulls shot 56.4 percent from the field which was their best mark of the season.

Preview:

This tweet basically sums up the Chicago Bulls existence right now.

It’s seriously time for drastic measures. Suit up Jim Boylen and Randy Brown. Call up “Big Sexy” (Kurt Thomas) and Brian Scalabrine and give them 24 hour contracts to play tonight. Whatever it takes to lose tonight do it, even if it means casually shooting up air balls the last five minutes of the fourth quarter to let the Mavericks crawl back into the game from a double-digit deficit.

To hell with any financial penalty that would manifest from these tanking measures. A $600,000 fine is worth ensuring a loss to the Mavericks, right? If only the Bulls didn’t have the Mr. Krabs of NBA owners....

On a more serious note, expecting athletes and coaches to deliberately lose is unfair because it runs counter to every competitive fiber in their body. Bulls fans can only hope that on this night the Bulls talent is worse than the Mavericks talent.

As far as the game tonight, I’m setting the over/under on Lauri Markkanen and Dirk Nowitzki comparison discussions at +/- five instances. Basketball announcers like to oversell the comparisons between 7-foot European players as that’s all we hear about when the Bulls play the Mavericks or the Knicks (Kristaps Porzingis).

After signing Jarell Eddie to a 10-day contract on Wednesday, tonight would be his first opportunity to earn playing time with the Bulls. With player development of paramount importance right now, maybe the Bulls give Eddie some minutes since they have more to lose by winning than by losing. On the flip side, he is 26 years old so he’s a bit past the age most teams would want to start a developmental project.

Also on the horizon beyond this game is some starting lineup changes.

This could manifest in a variety of different ways, with the most likely scenario being that Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine replace Cristiano Felicio and David Nwaba in the starting lineup.

Remember how ugly the Bulls 104-87 loss to the Brooklyn Nets was on Monday? We could have a repeat of that tonight so hopefully you have something else to do besides watching the Bulls games (I will be watching because I don’t).