The Mavericks enter another three-game road trip with aims of making it better than the last. The Mavs lost their last game to the Bulls, but have won 16 of their last 18 meetings. Ben Gordon and Luol Deng royally lit the Mavs up in their last meeting and are probably primed to do the same with the way the Mavericks have been playing defense lately.
Got to admit, it's getting better
After starting out the season at 2-12 and looking to completely ruin many prognostications of Chicago as Eastern Conference champs, the Bulls have gone on to win two straight. Before breaking out the bubbly and polishing the Michael Jordan statue, it should be noted that they defeated Atlanta and Charlotte in those two games, so it isn't like they beat any stiff competition. In fact, of their four wins, the only win worth an above .500 team was against the Pistons. This Bulls team is desperate to get back on track, and even if their last two wins were against poor competition, the Mavs better watch out for a team that is hungry for more wins.
Skiles on the hot seat?
Bulls coach Scott Skiles has long been known to rub some of his players the wrong way with his strict enforcement of team rules and sometimes inexplicable way of handling professional athletes. The Bulls are loaded with potential talent and look like they should be producing. When those kinds of teams aren't coming together as expected, the blame usually heads in the coach's direction. If this madness somehow persists and the Bulls were to miss the playoffs (however unlikely that may be), Skiles might be looking for a new job and headbands will be freely worn in Chicago again.
Deng finally coming around
A popular choice to have a big breakout season, forward Luol Deng is finally starting to get his game going. Deng has topped 20 points in three straight games after only doing so in three of his first eight games. His rebounding is coming together as well and he has averaged eight per game during his last three games. It's obvious that Deng's individual success correlates to his team's success, and if Deng can continue to move in the right direction, the Bulls can expect to get right back in the hunt.
Hinrich has been terrible
Kirk Hinrich, the reliable point guard from the last few years has turned into some kind of cruddy Kirk Hinrich imposter so far this season. Last year, Hinrich was showing signs that he finally might be able to crack into the top tier of NBA point guards and averaged career highs in points, three-point percentage and field-goal percentage. By becoming more efficient, Hinrich could be depended on more to shoot and was finding more offensive opportunities with his new-found shooting stroke. This season, he has taken a major step back and is averaging career lows in every category―topped off by an inexcusably bad 35 percent shooting from the floor. He even got benched for playing badly the other night. His failure to succeed has been another reason to Bulls have stunk so far.
- Joakim Noah is a goober.
- Those are some slick kicks, but this is kind of creepy.
- Take that Captain Fall Down.
Random useless fact
The Bulls dancers are called the "Lovabulls." Please, stop the puns.
-Scooter Hendon, Hoops Nerd