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.