The Dallas Mavericks first team was able to take out the Bulls second team down the stretch to get the win as Dirk, Terry, and and Butler played at the end of the game. Apparently the Mavericks didn't want to go 0-2 at home in preseason, but for an old team it struck me as an odd decision.
In terms of the Bulls, they ran a lot of offense through the big men
starting at the high post or having the big men actually use some
dribble penetration. Joakim Noah had six assists on the night, and if
he had played a normal amount of minutes would have flirted with a
triple double. He looked much better than against the Bucks.
The Bulls three point shooting was again a rather unimpressive 6-21, but
that's misleading, because of the guys who will actually play for the
Bulls, they were 6-16 which isn't awesome, but is a solid percentage.
John Lucas chucked up an 0-5 to make things feel a lot worse.
Probably the best news when it comes to three point shooting was Luol
Deng knocked down 2-4 bringing him up to 3-7 on the preseason.
Obviously, seven attempts isn't much of a sample size, but 3-4 shots a
game and 33%+ percentage is what we want from Deng, and he's done it
both games. It's also worth noting that at least two of his three makes
weren't corner threes, but were from the wing (though for the life of me
I can't remember the third, so maybe it was also from the wing too).
That represents a longer three and hints that his range has actually
improved (or he's gotten lucky so far since the sample size is small).
The news wasn't so good for Derrick Rose's shooting from distance as he
went 0-3 (though one was a heave at the end of the half, so let's throw it out), and is now 0-3 (4) on the preseason. That said, the preseason is
the time to work on things like this and see if he can integrate them
into his game. I'm happy with Derrick taking three threes a game, but I
hope in a typical game he'll knock down one of them. Granted, again,
small sample size doesn't mean much in terms of his overall accuracy,
and overall I like the fact that he's attempting to integrate the shot
into his game.
However, ignoring the threes, Rose played very well while on the floor.
He did a great job ramping up the tempo and making things happen in
transition, and at times he turned possessions into fast breaks when
there was a Maverick with a 20 foot head start down the court. Get rid
of the threes, and he shot 7-12 for 17 points on the night, and he's now
at 10 free throw attempts in 54 minutes on the season. That represents
6.6 FTAs per 36 minutes which improves tremendously on what he averaged last year. Again, small sample size, but the early returns
Kieth Bogans went three for three from the three point line, so we'll
take that. Obviously a great night for him shooting, but if he can give
us solid shooting then he's doing everything we need. He also had
three assists, and two steals and generally picked his spots and played
really well in his small role.
Kyle Korver was unable to follow up his 22 point performance where he
looked like a goto man with a similar performance. He started off slow,
but still managed to score 10 points on 8 shots on a night where it
didn't feel like he played well. That's exactly what we need from
Korver, so I'm still quite happy with his performance. He even had a
tough physical rebound in traffic once which surprised me.
After watching Scalabrine play tonight, I feel I may have underestimated
him some. It became fairly clear how this guy gets on the court. He's
just very heady on both ends of the floor. He had five fouls, but at
least two of the five were head scratchers where he got hosed. He also
was 0-3 from the field, but he made so many good decisions with the
ball, set up guys with quality shots, and generally did a far better job
on defense than you'd think his athleticism would allow. I was left
thinking if we could merge Scalabrine's mind with James Johnson's body
that we'd have a star on our hands.
As touched on briefly earlier, John Lucas appeared to try to shoot his
way off the team as fast as possible. He just chucked up everything,
and appeared to try to shoot his way out of his slump. He had no
turnovers, but his ball handling looked more suspect than you'd expect
for a guy handling it as much as him with no turnovers.
Kurt Thomas played much better in his second preseason game. He
appeared to have no lift to rebound at all in the fist game, but this
game he did a better job establishing position to compensate for a lack of athleticism and did a nice job on the
boards which is what you'd ask for out of Kurt. Obviously, at this
point, we kind of know what Kurt can bring or not bring regardless of
what he's going to do in preseason though, but it was still nice to see
him play a bit better.
Overall thoughts, I liked the Bulls defense more in this game, they held
Dallas to a mere .387 FG%, and I think many of the trips to the foul
line the Mavericks received were kind fo sketchy. The Bulls lost this
game on the glass again with the Mavericks having 18 offensive rebounds
to the Bulls 27 defensive rebounds. That's the second game in a row
allowing a completely unacceptable level of offensive rebounding to the
opponent, and both times turned games the Bulls could have won into
That said, the Bulls first team was beating up the Mavericks first team
in this game, and the game swung when the Mavericks first team continued
to play against the Bulls deep bench with Lucas, Scalabrine, Korver,
Johnson, and Thomas being the lineup that was abused at the end of the
game by Dirk, Butler, Terry, and two other guys, so I feel pretty good about the Bulls coming out of this one.
Interesting side note, the Bulls have now only had 25 turnovers across two games which is
quite impressive for preseason action where usually players aren't in
sync as much. Especially given the turnover on the roster, and the new
system, the players have done a great job of hanging onto the ball.