Bulls to unleash Zach attack on Mavericks
Chicago (4-9) is looking to build upon a 99-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night. The Bulls again relied upon guard Zach LaVine, who scored 20 or more points for the 14th straight game and will try to increase his career-high streak to 15.
Meanwhile, Dallas (4-8) also is looking for back-to-back wins after a resounding 111-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night. The Mavericks will try to sweep the season series over the Bulls after winning Oct. 22 in Dallas.
The game likely will mark the first appearance in Chicago by Mavericks rookie forward Luka Doncic, although he is listed as questionable because of a right thigh bruise. The 19-year-old Slovenian, who was the No. 3 overall pick in this summer's draft, has averaged 20.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in his first 12 games.
Four other Mavericks players are averaging in double-digit scoring including Wesley Matthews (16.8), Dennis Smith (15.5), Harrison Barnes (14.5) and DeAndre Jordan (11.6). Rookie Jalen Brunson, whose father is a former Bulls assistant coach and who attended high school in Chicago's northern suburbs, is averaging 4.4 points in 12 games off the bench.
LaVine leads the Bulls with 27.2 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting from the field. Jabari Parker is second with 14.7 points per game and is coming off his best defensive play of the season, a blocked shot that helped preserve Saturday's win.
Rookie Wendell Carter Jr. has provided a bright spot for Chicago with 11.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. The 19-year-old from Duke has recorded at least one block in 12 of 13 games to start the season.
Ryan Arcidiacono is expected to start at point guard for the Bulls after making his first career start against Cleveland. The Villanova product had a career-high 15 points and impressed coaches and teammates with his hard-nosed style of play.
"I love the intangibles that 'Arch' brings to this team," Hoiberg said in comments published by the Chicago Tribune. "He's an effort guy. He's going to sacrifice his body. He's taken more charges already this year than, I think, anybody took in a full 82 games a year ago. ... 'Arch' deserves (the starting role)."
Bulls fans will not get a chance to see future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki, who has not yet played this season as he recovers from ankle surgery and lingering foot soreness. But the 40-year-old said he might return before the end of the month.
"The last week or 10 days have been encouraging," Nowitzki said in comments published by the Dallas Morning News. "Unfortunately this took way, way longer than expected. I just had some inflammation in the tendon. And every time we stepped it up, I had a setback. But the last 10 days have been encouraging.
"We'll probably add a little more side-to-side stuff and maybe even get a little practice in and see how it responds."