Keys To The Game: Bulls at Mavericks (1.9.22)

Remind Me Later


The Bulls look to extend their winning streak to 10 games as they take on the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Chicago is coming off of a high-scoring 130-122 victory over the Washington Wizards in which they saw a very balanced scoring effort from their roster.

In that win over the Wizards, six Bulls finished in double figures scoring, including Zach LaVine with a team-high 27 points.

Now, Chicago prepares for a Dallas Mavericks team playing with a lot of confidence as of late.

Trust the pass in the halfcourt

The Mavericks have picked up most of their wins this year on the back of their great defense. This season, Dallas is a legit top-10 defense but specifically, they excel at controlling things in a slower paced matchup.

Dallas is 8th in the league in points allowed per 100 possessions (defensive rating) in the halfcourt.

When there are moments where Sunday's matchup inevitably slows down, the Bulls will need to make the extra pass and often.

This has not been a problem for Chicago, who can sometimes suffer from over-passing, but a diligent Dallas defense will call for Lonzo Ball and company to keep the ball moving.

Lonzo Ball

Pressure the Mavericks' ballhandlers

The Dallas Mavericks are much like the Bulls in the fact that they don't turn the ball over very often. Dallas is top-five in the league in turnover percentage but they have been less careful with their possessions over the last 10 games.

If Chicago wants to deal with Dallas on Sunday night, then harassing the Mavericks into uncharacteristic turnovers is one of the surest routes. If Luka Doncic suits up, then shadowing him with an extra defender could be the best route.

If Luka doesn't suit up, then the Doncic-less Mavs will turn to Jalen Brunson (16 points and 5.6 assists per game).

Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson

Keep establishing Vooch early and often

A big but not so obvious part of the Bulls nine-game winning streak has been Nikola Vucevic still being aggressive with his offense even when his shot isn't falling.

Vooch has only been slightly more aggressive with his shot over the nine-game winning streak but he could have a field day against a Mavs defense that just gave up 20 points on 78-of-13 shooting to Christian Wood in their last game.

Nikola Vucevic

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