The Chicago Bulls and the Dallas Mavericks will take the court for a matinee match-up in one of six NBA games on Sunday.
The Bulls are on a four-game losing streak, with one loss after another culminating in Friday’s 127-125 overtime heartbreaker against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks lost for the first time in five games when the Milwaukee Bucks defeated them 112-109 on Friday.
You can view the NBA season’s first-half schedule here.
Fixture – Chicago Bulls vs Dallas Mavericks | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time – Sunday, January 17th, 3:00 PM ET (Monday, January 18th, 1:30 AM IST)
Location – American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
The Chicago Bulls gave up a 22-point lead in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday but still had a chance to win it in overtime.
However, Zach LaVine missed a three-pointer in the waning seconds of overtime as the Bulls fell to 4-8 in the standings.
As the Dallas Mavericks prepare to regain their stride from winning four straight matches before the loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, they will have to do so while helping Kristaps Porzingis reacclimate himself to the new roster.
Porzingis will be playing just his third game of the season after missing his team’s first nine games.
Chicago Bulls Preview
It has been a difficult year for the Chicago Bulls. They sometimes look like one of the top teams in the East. However, there have been many times when they showed their lack of maturity.
The Chicago Bulls need a break, but the Dallas Mavericks will be a tough opponent. It will take a consistent and concerted effort from the Bulls roster to win this ballgame.
Key Player – Zach LaVine
It’s frustrating for Zach LaVine to keep putting up big numbers only for the Chicago Bulls to lose time and time again. However, he can’t let up, especially against a dangerous Dallas Mavericks team.
The seven-year veteran guard is averaging career-highs across the board, with 28.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per contest. He’s also shooting career-bests in 3-point percentage (39.6) and overall shooting (49.8 percent).
In his last six games for the Chicago Bulls, he has upped his numbers to 34.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists. He’s also red-hot from the field at 54.5 percent overall and 46.3 from behind the arc. The Dallas Mavericks will focus their defense on him, but he will likely be ready for them.
Chicago Bulls Predicted Lineup
G Coby White G Zach LaVine F Lauri Markkanen F Patrick Williams C Wendell Carter Jr.
Dallas Mavericks Preview
The Dallas Mavericks nearly won the Milwaukee Bucks game to extend their four-game winning streak, but it wasn’t meant to be. They will now try to recapture the momentum they gathered from the previous games and start a new streak.
The challenge will be difficult, with several players out due to the league’s health and safety protocols. As the Chicago Bulls try to snap out of their funk, the Mavs will have to keep them there to get their seventh win of the season.
Key Player – Kristaps Porzingis
In his first two games of the young 2020-21 season, Kristaps Porzingis struggled with his shooting, which is expected after coming back from surgery in the offseason.
Getting his conditioning back will be the major challenge for the 7-foot-3 Latvian, and it has been a painful process. He missed 13 of his last 19 shots last Friday against the Bucks, including the potential game-winning three with 10.4 seconds left.
With many of his teammates unable to suit up this afternoon, Porzingis has to play close to his usual self to beat the Chicago Bulls.
Dallas Mavericks Predicted Lineup
G Luka Doncic G Tim Hardaway Jr. F Wes Iwundu F Kristaps Porzingis C Willie Cauley-Stein
Bulls vs Mavericks Match Prediction
The Chicago Bulls have another shot at snapping their losing streak, especially with an undermanned Dallas Mavericks team. It’s going to be a tall order, with Mavs superstar Luka Doncic leading the way and Kristaps Porzingis back in the line-up.
Porzingis has always had the advantage (size-wise) against any player on the Bulls. Look for the former All-Star to take advantage and break through his shooting slump.
Doncic will put up a triple-double again (or be close to achieving it again), and that will be more than enough to silence the Bulls.
Where to watch Bulls vs Mavericks
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Published 17 Jan 2021, 11:19 IST