Bulls-Mavericks Preview

Dallas Mavericks Status Check:
Record: 36-28
Division: 8-5
Conference: 26-22
Road Record: 13-18
Last 10 Games: 6-4
Streak: Won 2
Last game: 104-94 win over Golden State
PPG: 96.1 (18th)
Opponents PPG: 94.7 (12th)
Offensive Rating: 103.6 (21st)
Defensive Rating: 102.1 (8th)
Pace: 91.4 (13th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .491 (13th)
Turnover Percentage: .134 (12th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .746 (6th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .235 (28th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .189 (25th)
Opp. eFG%: .477 (8th)
Opp. TO%: .140 (13th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .206 (15th)
Leading scorer: Dirk Nowitzki (21.7)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Dallas Injury Report:
Jason Kidd: out for tonight’s game (rest)

Overview:
Every game counts now for the Bulls if they want home-court advantage in the playoffs. After Thursday night’s loss to Miami, the Bulls hold a 1.5 game over the Heat, with just three games left (the Heat have four games to go).

The Bulls need to figure a lot of things out in their three remaining games, as they’ve been slumping to the finish-line. The Bulls are 5-5 over their last ten games, all of which came in the month of April. Chicago is shooting 41.3 percent as a team during that stretch and averaging just 91.3 points per game. Their next worst shooting month, after April, was March, in which they shot 45.3 percent and scored 97.0 points per game.

The Bulls worries are coming at a bad time.

Their first chance to get back on the winning track comes tonight, against the defending champs. Dallas is currently in sixth place in the Western conference, with a playoff spot guaranteed. That guaranteed spot means they can rest some of their players, like they are doing tonight with Jason Kidd.

Kidd only played 22 minutes in their win Friday night over the Warriors. Vince Carter scored 19 points off the bench to lead the Mavs. Brandan Wright scored 17 coming off the pine as well, on 8-9 shooting and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Delonte West and Dirk Nowitzki pitched in 16 each, while Shawn Marion scored 14 and added eight rebounds.

West is shooting 52 percent from the field over his last ten, and 50 percent from beyond the arc.

The Mavs went just 3-19 from deep in that game, but shot 25-26 from the line (96.2 percent) to make up some of the difference. The Warriors went just 11-21 from the line.

The Mavs spread their minutes out well, so no one should be too tired. West was the only player to go over 30 minutes (he played 33 minutes). Dallas is 13-8 on the second-night of back-to-backs.

Their task will most likely be easier though, with Derrick Rose probably out again. Rose is a game-time decision for the millionth time this year. This will be the fourth straight game without Rose. The Bulls are 17-9 without their point guard, but are just 3-4 this month when they’re missing the reigning MVP.

The Bulls and Mavericks haven’t played each other since January of 2011. The Bulls won that game by five, without Carlos Boozer or Joakim Noah.

Chicago does get to go back home, where they are 24-7. They did lose their last home game though, to the Wizards.

And while the Bulls are struggling in general right now, the Mavs have struggled on the road all season. Dallas is 13-18 on the road this year. The Mavericks have dropped two straight on the road.

The Bulls need wins. They need to get Derrick Rose back in the line-up. But they also need him at full health for the playoffs. And they need chemistry between their starters. Will they get any of these tonight?

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