The Dallas Mavericks may not have much to play for. Their playoff spot is locked up leaving them only to jostle for the sixth or seventh seed. The Mavericks have just two games to play and own the tiebreaker against the Denver Nuggets who are presently tied in the loss column, but with four games left to play. Dallas likely locks up the sixth seed and a first round matchup against the Lakers with a win in one of their final two games and may lock it up even if they lose both.
It's possible the Mavericks may elect to rest some of their veterans [Kidd is expected to miss the game at the very least] or limit their minutes due to the workload and age of the team.
Ramp up the pace
The Mavericks are coming off a back to back having played Golden State in Dallas last night and their fifth game in seven days. The Bulls need to push the pace and amp up the energy level of the game. If they attack the glass, push the ball in transition, and force the Mavericks into a track meet style game, then they'll have a considerable advantage over a weary team.
Chicago is coming off a day off after falling to the Heat on Thursday and while Rose and Deng are game time decisions, they should be the fresher of the two teams.
Find a way to get easy hoops
Dallas isn't going to force many turnovers, and they aren't going to hit the offensive glass hard. They get back on defense and focus on playing fundamentally rather than disruptively. Their style of play forces a lower shooting percentage and a half court style of play.
That should fit in well with what the Bulls want to do defensively, but assuming Rose misses the game, it's easy to see the team struggling to score. Chicago will need to focus on clean crisp ball movement to get things done against the Mavericks to generate quality looks as well as knocking down the open jumpers they can generate.
Move off the ball
Chicago can help wear down the Mavericks by making sure their off the ball movement is at its best. When Chicago moves off the ball, they'll pressure the Mavericks to maintain a higher level of energy to play defense. The off the ball movement will also help compensate for a lack of isolation shot creators in the half court and can create some quality looks for the offense.
Need this one
The Bulls have three days off before finishing the season with a back to back against Indiana [road] and Cleveland [home]. The Bulls need all three wins [unless Miami loses] to clinch the #1 seed. The Bulls are still playing with limited health tonight as Rose and Deng are both game time decisions.
After tonight, Chicago has three days off prior to the their game in Indiana in which to rest up and hopefully attack the Pacers at full strength.