The NBA season is starting to get real tight in the Western and Eastern Conferences. Some teams are consistently putting together great performances and others are still trying to find out what type of team they are. The Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks are somewhere in between. They face off against each other tonight and it should be an interesting game.
The Bulls, coming off a two-game winning streak, are finally getting some healthy bodies back. Once they get all their players back from injury, they might go on a very good stretch like last season. This team has struggled for most of the season so far because of the major injuries. They just haven’t played enough games with the whole squad together to get a fair assessment of the team.
This matchup against the Mavs should be intriguing. The Bulls may be without Luol Deng, who is still nursing a sore Achilles. Joakim Noah is also fighting through a minor injury with tightness in the hip. But coach Tom Thibodeau said Noah just needed an extra day of rest from practicing. So Noah should be ready to roll against the Mavs. They will need him to contend with Dirk Nowitzki. He presents all types of problems for the Bulls because he is a 7-footer that is deadly from the perimeter and inside. Noah, Taj Gibson and Carlos Boozer must find Nowitzki at all costs and make him work. Another player the Bulls must pay extra attention to is Monta Ellis. The two-guard is having a very effective year scoring and passing the ball. Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich will get the assignment against Ellis.
The Bulls must inflict their physicality against the Mavs. The Mavs are not very physical, so the Bulls will set the tone defensively. The one thing the Mavs love to do is score the basketball, so this should be your classic battle of offense versus defense. The Bulls will have to be very sharp in order to sneak away with a win.