Setting the Table: Chicago Bulls (Game 16)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on November 28, 2012 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (7-8) are looking to get back to .5oo with a victory against the Chicago Bulls (6-7). Wednesday’s game for Dallas will mark the second game of a back-to-back. The Mavericks are 1-3 in the first half of a back-to-back and 1-2 in the second half of a back-to-back this season. The Mavericks have 16 back-to-backs in 2012-13, with only one stretch of four games in five nights. In total, 10 back-to-backs are on the road, three begin at home and conclude on the road and three are road-to-home. Dallas played 22 back-to-backs in 2011-12, going 7-15 in the first half and 13-9 in the second half of those back-to-backs. Dallas is only 2-5 on the road this season.

Here are notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Bulls.

Series Notes:

The Bulls and the Mavericks met once in 2011-12 (at Chicago on 4/21/12) and Chicago recorded a 93-83 win. Dirk Nowitzki (17), Rodrigue Beaubois (16) and Vince Carter (15) all managed 15-plus points for Dallas in the loss on 4/21/12. The Bulls have now won three straight against the Mavericks (Dallas has not managed more than 83 points in each of the last three meetings). But Dallas has still taken 21 of the last 27 meetings between the two clubs (the Mavericks won 13 straight against the Bulls from 3/12/98-12/13/04). Dallas has won nine of the last 13 meetings with Chicago on the road, but the Bulls have taken the last two matchups at the United Center. The Mavericks are 12-2 in their last 14 games against the Bulls in Dallas. The Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak against the Mavericks with an 88-83 win on 11/19/10. It also ended the Bulls’ five-game road losing streak against the Mavericks. Prior to the victory on 11/19/10, the Bulls had not defeated the Mavericks in Dallas since 2/8/05 (107-100). Both teams recorded their lowest point totals against one another to date in the Bulls’ 82-77 victory at home on 1/20/11. The all-time series is currently tied at 31-31, with both teams holding an all-time record of 18-13 at home.

It’s a Small World:

Elton Brand was drafted by Chicago with the first overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and played his first two seasons with the Bulls from 1999-2001. Brand shared Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis for the 1999-00 season. Mavericks guard Dahntay Jones and Bulls forward Carlos Boozer were college teammates at Duke during the 2001-02 season. Mavericks center Chris Kaman and Bulls guard Marco Belinelli were teammates in New Orleans during the 2011-12 season. Shawn Marion was born in Waukegan, Illinois. Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle coached Bulls guard Richard Hamilton when they were both with the Detroit Pistons in 2002-03. Mavericks forward Jae Crowder and Bulls guard Jimmy Butler were college teammates at Marquette during the 2010-11 season. Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin played for the Mavericks from 2001-03 and again in 2005-06.

Three Keys:

1. Love, cherish the basketball. The Mavericks committed turnovers on six consecutive possessions to fuel Philadelphia’s 12-0 go-ahead run during the fourth quarter of the game on 11/27. Dallas has simply been trying make plays happen that just can’t be made. They need to have a stronger attention to detail and protect the basketball.

2. Continue to build momentum with Elton Brand and Shawn Marion. Marion registered a season-high 17 points to go along with eight rebounds in 32 minutes at Philadelphia on 11/27 (previous high: 11 at L.A. Lakers 10/30). He’s averaging 13.5 points and 8.0 rebounds over his last two games. Brand recorded a season-high 17 points to along with eight boards in 19 minutes off the bench at Philadelphia on 11/27. It was his third double-figure scoring game of the season and his first since 11/14 (season-high 11 points vs. Washington 11/14).

3. Work on developing an offensive identity. This really isn’t a key to the game, but it’s a key the Mavericks will need to work on in order to be successful. The issues with Dallas’ defense have been well established. The problem with them on offense is they don’t have an identity. They say they want to work off of ball movement and flow but it doesn’t always work out that way. There are times where Chris Kaman will dominate the ball in the low post, and then it will randomly shift to O.J. Mayo on the perimeter. If it weren’t for Vince Carter’s scoring outburst in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia, Dallas wouldn’t have had a chance to get back in the game. The problem is, when the game was on the line, you really didn’t have an idea of what Dallas was going to do. They need to establish some kind of go-to plan and see if it actually can be sustainable.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.