Thank goodness for the Washington Wizards.
If they didn’t exist and if you replaced the back-to-back against them to a back-to-back versus a functional organization, the Bulls might be 0-6 right now.
Poor on-court play coupled with a bunch of guys out due to COVID-19 protocol has caused the Bulls to limp out of the gates of a 2020 season where there were expectations that they’d be much improved.
The lack of available bodies means that guys like Luke Kornet started and Cristiano Felicio got 12 minutes of playing time. Predictably, this short-handed Bulls reality didn’t work out too well in a deflating 126-96 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks Friday. Of course, that was the second night of a back-to-back so a refreshed Bulls team you would hope would look a little better against the Mavericks.
Of course, it’s a six-game sample size so plenty of time to get better in a long NBA season. But right now, it looks like the Bulls could be duking it out with the Wizards and the Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks if their start wasn’t fluky for worst team in the Eastern Conference.
The Mavericks also haven’t had the greatest of starts. To be fair, they played the two teams that made the NBA Finals last season (they were able to beat the Miami Heat),had an away game against the Los Angeles Clippers, and played a Phoenix Suns team that has the best record in the Western Conference.
....and the Mavericks have Luka Doncic, the third-year star who nearly averaged a triple-double last year. With Kristaps Porzingis still out, it’s very much the Doncic show; he leads the Mavericks in points, rebounds, and assists per game this season.
The Bulls could really use a win against at team not named the Washington Wizards so here’s hoping it’s their night tonight.
Tomas Satoransky, Lauri Markkanen, Chandler Hutchison, and Ryan Arcidiacono are all still out because of COVID-19 protocol.
Doncic is questionable for the game today with a left quad contusion injury. He has beaten the Bulls three out of the four times he’s played them in his young career, we’ll see if he’s good to go for matchup number five tonight.
Game Time: 7:00 p.m. CDT; NBC Sports Chicago