Bulls vs Mavericks at 7PM on CSN+ / NBA TV

The Bulls thoroughly outplayed the Mavericks starters last game, but the Mavs kept in the big guns against the bulls last five off the bench in order to pull out the victory.   With the Mavs on the road and the Bulls at home, I wouldn't be surprised to see the opposite show play out tonight.   I think it's probably one of those unwritten rules to play your starters fewer minutes on the road in order to give the home team a better shot at the win and leave the fans happy.

While the result of the game, like all preseason games, is fairly meaningless, how the Bulls play against the Mavs starters is meaningful given that they're projected to be one of the top 10 teams in the league and on a similar level of talent with the Bulls.
What to watch for:

1: While the Bulls starters jumped on the Mavs last game, Dirk Nowitzki owned them.   I'll be interested to see if the Bulls make any adjustments in how they defend him though in all honesty, their defense on him wasn't bad last time.   He was just unreal that night, and great shooters will do that to you sometimes.

2: Will Rose and Noah continue their dominance of opponents?   Both have been off to an outstanding start this year, and I'm sure we hope to see them continue their roll.

3: Will Ronnie Brewer play better his second time around?   He looked a bit rusty, understandably, in his first game back.  However, he should have a few practices under his belt now.  While he doesn't need to catch up completely in this game, if he's not playing better by the end of preseason, Keith Bogans has a legit shot to grab the starting spot in the rotation.

4: Can Omer Asik repeat his quality performance from last game?  He played very well against Toronto and has trended upwards all preseason long.  If Asik continues to rebound and defend he's going to find minutes on the floor this season and push Taj Gibson for playing time when the full roster is healthy.

5: Can JJ keep it up and which C.J. Watson is the real C.J. Watson.   Johnson's coming off two quality games in a row, and if he continues to play well and make quality decisions then he has a chance to find some playing time this season.   Watson's had one quality game and one poor game.  I think he's the type of player he's apt to run hot and cold, but I'd love to see him put a few more hot games together before the season starts.

6: Can the Bulls control the glass in this game?   Dallas killed them on the boards in Dallas, so it'd be nice to see that the Bulls make the adjustments required to win the rebounding battle moreso than just play weaker rebounding teams.


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  • I'm personally gonna start looking at Rose's assist totals. There's no reason why he shouldn't be averaging at least 7-8 assists a night in this offense, on this team.

    I think that's the next big step for him. His defense appears to be greatly improved, I think his rebounding is already pretty good, and will most likely get better. His assists need to rise while increasing, or at least maintaining his scoring numbers. You said it last game, and I agree, he looked a little better in that area, but now I just wanna see the consistancy.

  • 1. I am interested to see How Asik does against better centers like Haywood, Chandler compared to the crap Toronto has.
    2. It will also be interesting to see Rose's defense against Kidd who is shooting a lot of 3 pointers and makes good passes.
    3. Also need to see Taj's defense and offense atleast for a few min against Nowitzki.

  • Like this quote from TT re DRose. Looks like Rose getting a lot more coaching in order to take his game and the Bulls to the next level.
    ''And his rebounding in the last two games, he's really gone after more balls. I think when he defensive rebounds, it really allows us to get out quickly on the break and gives us those easy scoring opportunities. We want to try and do that as much as possible.''
    Seems like he is trying to take a page from the Celtics playbook and using him like Rondo who gets almost 6 rebounds in the playoffs. If Rose could improve his rebounds to average 5 per game, like his buddy Westbrook, it would lead to a lot of easy baskets.

    Also like this
    "What Thibodeau has specifically asked Rose to do is apply pressure on the ball -- basically get in the opposing point guard's face as he brings the ball up the court and not allow him to shift smoothly into running a designed offensive set."
    Rose was 77th in the league last year in steals for guards while averaging .73 while Rondo and Paul were over 2per game. Again getting steals in the back court would sure lead to easy baskets.

  • In reply to treticker:

    ROSE will be like rondo but more athelitc. keep in mind when rondo was a rookie coach thibbs did some magic on this kid. He will do the same for Rose but rose is more athelitc. So he will get more rebounds, steals and assist. GO BULLS!

  • In reply to treticker:

    Noah should guard the German bomber to put a hand in his face away from the basket with Asik covering the Mavs center near the basket.
    We should start Korver at SG because Deng and Brewer are very redundant. Brewer while nursing his bad ham can cover SG/SF backup.
    I hope JJ & Weaver play good and are our athletic role players.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Yes, I am very interested to see if Thibs has Noah guard Nowitzki for any length of time. No one else on Bulls roster matches up with Dirk in terms of size and mobility. And if Dirk can be stopped so can the Mavs.

  • In reply to smiley:

    And I also want to see Kyle Weaver more than John Lucas. Weaver has much more potential, IMO.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Yeah Weaver can be our new Salmons who swam North!:-)


    Big suprise...he still wants out of Denver and the Bulls are on his list.


    Does 30 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals vs. the Clippers, last night, do anything for anybody? It gets my attention.


    By the way he scored 21 points last night in their pre-season game.

    Let's see if James Johnson can match that tonight vs. Dallas.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I'm with you happy on the Carmelo watch, although the Bulls do have a very good team now I would still like for them to try and get Carmelo cause when playoff time rolls around, the Bulls will indeed have to have a very good perimeter game cause we all know that playoff basketball is when a team needs a very good outside game and an especially good low post game. I think a lot of bulls fans are comfortable with the team that we have now and rightfully so but when it comes down to it, the Bulls are still one perimeter scorer away from being a true threat to Miami, Orlando, and Boston. I wouldn't sleep on Milwaukee either causes far they are looking descent. Bulls do need to make something happen without giving up Noah cause they won't beat the Heat in a 7 game series and Rose is good but I wouldn't have him as my primary go to guy at the end of a game. Again I'm with you happy

  • In reply to Reese1:

    all we can do is hope for the best cause like I said, the Bulls are a good team now but someone is missing from this team and we all know who it is rather we like it or not.

  • In reply to Reese1:


    Don't look now, but Luol Deng could be raising is trade value.


    They need to pick up their rebounding. It's been awful this pre-season.

  • Good point. The biggest concern I have is chemistry i.e. knowing where they like the pass, when to cut, weaknesses/strengths of each other. It is not easy for the Bulls players from last year to sync with these old Utah guys so fast. That's why it might be better to play Brewer and Korver at the same time rather than Deng and Brewer because both like to play off the ball and might be bumping into each other.
    That's why I think Boston and Orlando have an advantage over Miami because of chemistry. Chemistry is dismissed easily by many analysts but if talent is almost the same(team wise), chemistry will push it up a level.

  • I'm wonder if Thibs will have Noah play some minutes guarding Nowitzki. I remember last year's February game against Portland where Noah was the only player who could match LaMarcus Aldridge's size/quickness. Aldridge was HOT - Miller and Gibson couldn't guard him. Then Noah shut him down and Bulls won game in OT.

    I am also very interested to see Asik (Ah-Sheek) play against better centers like Haywood, Chandler. Toronto and Washington are in the discussion for worst frontlines in the entire NBA so those games are not a reliable indicator. Asik's development will allow Noah to play more at PF. This could be important against teams with stud 6'10"+ PFs that Gibson and Boozer can't defend well. It's typically the better playoff teams that have the big and skilled frontlines.

  • Also will be interesting to see how Thibs approaches Dwight Howard on Saturday. In the Boston/Orlando playoff series, Thibs had success rotating multiple bigs (Perkins, Wallace, Davis) and getting physical with Howard. Can Thibs do the same with Noah, Asik, Kurt Thomas?

    In the past Howard has typically been dominating against the Bulls, and Noah's had trouble dealing with Howard's strength. Brad Miller did a better job bodying up on Howard than Noah.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agree. Howard is one guy who can bully Noah. Others are big(Shaq, Perkins) but are not so quick and athletic. Howard is a nightmare matchup for Noah. Will be interesting to see if Asik can do anything defensively against Howard even for a few possessions. It will boost his confidence big time if he has a few good plays against Howard.

  • Mitchell,

    Memphis is deeper than the Bulls at SG/SF.

    Unlike Johnson, S. Young has EARNED his minutes and playing time.

    He's scoring, playing defense and shooting over 50%.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    How many of Memphis' games have you seen so far this pre-season?

  • In reply to bullsville:


    I'm not sure who that question is directed to, but I have watched a few of Memphis' pre-season games and most of their Summer League games.

    They have plenty of depth at SG/SF.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    6:30 Chicago time is the Bulls' season preview on NBA-TV, right before tonight's game which will be televised on NBA-TV as well.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Ya i want to see Noah guard Dirk too...why not? Lets give him a try...only problem with that though is that Dirk draws a bunch of cheap fouls, an Noah probably will be in foul trouble pretty quick.

    I want to see Asik (my new fav. player) continue to play well lol He was finishing plays the other night that Tyson Chandler couldnt do....he was actually dunking the ball in traffic! He looked good!

    If Asik continues to improve....look for this

    Deng + Asik + Draft pick or picks FOR Melo

  • In reply to Csharp:

    It's Taj Gibson who Bulls would now like to trade. Deng + Taj + JJ + Charlotte pick + any other pieces.

    But you don't mess up the frontline for a SF. Come playoff time its the teams with dominant frontlines that advance. Thibs knows this from his experience in Boston. It was three 6'11" dudes who clobbered the Lakers in 2008 (Perkins/PJ Brown/Garnett). In 2010 Boston was on the verge again with (Perkins/Wallace/Davis/Garnett), but Perkins getting hurt and missing Game 7 cost Boston the ring.

    So I don't think Thibs wants to weaken the PF or C positions.

  • In reply to Edward:


    Melo is a TOP 5 to 7 player in the NBA.

    If the Bulls can give up Deng, Gibson, Johnson or Asik for him, they should. The Bulls would still have enough depth PF/C after such a trade.

    Melo is a DIFFERENCE-MAKER, which the Bulls lack right now.

  • In reply to Edward:

    YUCK...that about sums up that Bulls' performance tonight.

    Johnson, Watson and Scalabrine are flat-out PITTIFUL. And Deng forgot how to rebound.

    Thibs may want to try Brewer at back-up PG and trade Johnson for S. Young, if possible.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I thought the Rose, Deng, Noah, and James Johnson did some good things out there. James Johnson is becoming smarter with the basketball and was robbed of the game tying put back. He had some good drives off the ball as well towards the end of the game. I think he has a good chance at becoming a decent role player in the next few years if he dedicates himself like he has.

    Deng 5/6 before OT with shooting threes!

  • In reply to Edward:

    Tonight's Dallas game made it painfully obvious that it is the SG position where Bulls are weakest. When Bogans was playing early and hitting his shot Bulls looked like a contender. When Watson, Brewer and Korver were missing nearly every shot Bulls looked like an ordinary team.

    I also don't like Watson playing SG next to Rose as this backcourt is so small.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I don't like Watson playing at all right now. I was very excited when I heard we were getting him this off season. He seemed like someone who could come off the bench for us and keep up tghe tempo and scoring. I have watched every minute of the pre-season so far and he looks horrible. Shot is bad, doesn't pass enough, and has been getting lost on defense. Whyt are we not getting a better look at Weaver? I'm not saying Weaver is some savior or anything, but it would be hard for him to play worse than Watson. I think we are plenty deep at SG, although no one is an all-star, but the back-up PG spot concerns me some right now.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Was Korver injured at all coming into this game or during? Why was he on the bench the last couple minutes of regulation and overtime? Watson was a ridiculous 2-13 on the night, including a 1-5 performance from downtown. He is left in the game at crunch time instead of Korver - arguably our best 3-point shooter. And yes I know he was only 1-5 from 3 as well, but my point still stands. Korver needs to be in when we are down 3 in the final moments.

  • In reply to Csharp:


    The Chicago Bulls' bench. Watson, Johnson and Scalabrine are PITTIFUL.

  • In reply to Csharp:


    They could ask for Deng, Gibson and Asik.

    As I said though, I would try and get Sacramento (Landry, Dalembert and Casspi) in on the 3-team deal.

  • Asik may not be up to the task of guarding Howard on his own, but it's nice to see he should be able to contribute meaningful minutes. I think between Noah, Thomas, and Asik they can get the job done against any center. Thats what the Bull's of the late 90's had to do: Longley- Wennington - i forget the 3rd.

  • Mitchell,

    You need to get a clue or start watching NBA basketball.


    SG - Mayo/Henry/Allen
    SF - Gay/Young/Carroll

    You clearly don't know what the hell you are talking about.

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