UPDATE: well this is good news
Luka Dončić (right quadricep strain), Josh Green (right elbow sprain) and Maxi Kleber (right foot soreness) will all miss tonight’s game in Chicago.— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) December 10, 2022
After missing a last-second buzzer-beater attempt against the Milwaukee Bucks last night, Luka Doncic and his 13-12 Dallas Mavericks are heading to the United Center on the second night of a back-to-back hoping for a better result against the much less intimidating 10-14 Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls, finally home following a six-game road trip, will enjoy a significant rest advantage, having not played since an unnecessarily-close Wednesday night win over the Bradley Beal-free Washington Wizards. In a rarity, all of Chicago’s “Big Three” leading scorers actually played well simultaneously, scoring 25 or more points apiece in the 115-111 victory.
Dallas actually represents the start of what could be a batch of pretty winnable bouts. Over their next nine games, the Bulls will square off against a swath of disappointing teams, including three contests against Tom Thibodeau’s thoroughly mediocre New York Knicks and two against an imploding Atlanta Hawks team which most likely will be without All-Star Dejounte Murray. Meetings with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets and Miami Heat round out the rest of the possible “gimme” games in this stretch, before a rematch against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 28th. Chicago really needs to capitalize on this little run, with all these pre-Bucks teams seemingly vulnerable as they battle internal issues.
The Bulls have been so erratic all season — alternately beating great teams and losing to terrible ones — that it’s tough to gauge how well they’ll fare against the most heliocentric offense in the NBA, a Mavericks club that on paper should be pretty beatable if they manage to sort of neutralize the NBA’s leading scorer (presumably with a ton of Alex Caruso coverage on the All-Star). Dallas also sports a bunch of solid shooters beyond Luka, which as we know is the Bulls’ Achilles heel.
The Mavericks take the third-most triples in the league (40.5 attempts) and make a solid 36.5% of them, good for 12th-best in the league. Though the Bulls convert a mid-level 35.6% of their treys (16th in the league as of this writing), they rank dead last in takes (28.4).
Javonte Green remains questionable with a sore right knee; if he can’t go, Patrick Williams will continue to start in his stead. Beyond Green, the Bulls’ usual suspects remain out of commission.
Mavericks are fully healthy, with just rookie second-round pick Jaden Hardy and two-way players Tyler Dorsey and McKinley Wright IV with the Mavericks’ NBAGL club, the Texas Legends.
Game Time: 7 p.m. Central, NBC Sports Chicago