Bobby Portis gets a hand from his teammates during the Bulls' last matchup against the Raptors

Chuck's Daily Check In 1.05.18

Chuck Checks In On The Bulls, And Previews Tonight's Game In Dallas

GAME NIGHT FROM DALLAS: Bulls (13-25, 4-15 on the road) at Dallas (13-26, 8-12 at home).

TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7:30 CT tipoff.
RADIO: WLS 890 AM: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul. 7PM CT pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Mirotic: 18 ppg. Dallas: Barnes 18 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen and Mirotic: 7. Dallas: Barnes: 6.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6. Dallas: Barea: 6.

CCI KEYS TO THE GAME: If you like the 3 point shot, you’ll want to watch/listen tonight. The Bulls attempt nearly 30 per game, and Dallas comes in averaging 32 attempts per contest. The Bulls rank 22nd in the league, making 35%, while Dallas is 11th at 37%. Both teams have rising stars in Lauri Markkanen and Dennis Smith Jr. Markkanen, picked seventh, is going to a superstar in the NBA for many years. He’s just getting better and better, and has a tremendous feel for the pro game at the ripe old age of 20. Smith, drafted ninth overall, is averaging nearly 14 points per game playing 28 minutes per contest. He recorded a triple-double last week against the Pelicans, with a 21-10-10 game. This young man is athletic, and that’s an understatement. Both players enjoy the big stage, and and it’s going to be a pleasure watching their development as we move forward. One player that has agitated the Bulls over the years with his all out hustle and gritty, pesky defense, along with dropping rainbow three balls, is veteran J.J. Barea. He leads Dallas in assists with six per game. Harrison Barnes in his second season with Dallas has established himself as a day in day out NBA player, who shows up and gives you 16-23 points on any given night with 5-9 rebounds. Dallas has won four straight in the series, and 7 out of the last 9. They are playing better of late, and gave Golden State all they could handle two nights ago, before losing on a Curry three point basket with three seconds left. The Bulls have hit a bump in the road over the past several days, but even with a ridiculous road back-to-back of Dallas and Indiana, I still can envision the team getting one, maybe both of these games.

NBA NEWS AND NOTES

No KD or Harden, but the Warriors and Rockets managed to score a combined 238 points, as Golden State beats Houston by 10. Curry and Thompson combined for 57. Gerald Green is on a tear, scoring 29 points and perhaps winning a contract for the rest of the year. He was waived by Milwaukee opening night, and has been working out in his hometown of Houston. When Harden went down with a hamstring injury, the Rockets dialed Green up and there you go.

Westbrook triple-double, as OKC beat the Clippers.

Thanks for reading CCI. Email me at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls.

Always a pleasure and Go Bulls!

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