NBA Game Notes 11/1/23: Bulls vs Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks Content NBA


  • First quarter rebounding woes vs Vucevic on the floor; Mavs couldn’t secure possession and gave up multiple second and third chance shots 
  • Exum drive 3:32
  • Exum 2:10 steal
  • Dante Exum continues being a solid spot minutes guard that can create havoc on both ends of the floor.
  • First half storylines: rebounding, LaVine isolation dominance, Jevon Carter shooting off the bench
  • Lively has made several good passes from the paint. He finished with 6 assists to 1 turnover, and his passing was always something that was underrated at Duke.
  • 10:39 4Q Jones to lively to THJ transition 3
  • There’s an element of importance with THJ: he’s fearless in shooting even in dangerous spots and while sometimes the punishment can be bad, the reward can be just as high. The Mavs may be trying this with Hardy at times too 
  • Kidd clearly trusts Hardy, putting him in at the 5:50 mark of the 4th quarter to close the game. Came in and hit a nice layup to force a bulls timeout
  • Josh Green struggled to find a way to impact the game on either end, but did hit the dagger 3. It has been a slow start to the season given his expectations following a contract extension, so as the Mavs hope to continue a hot start (the last undefeated team in the West), Green will need to both create for others in an organized & controlled manner, along with hitting spot-up jumpers. 
  • Grant Williams had his best game as a Mav: 25 points on 70% shooting, consistently good defense, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. His 3 point shooting & his gravity are lethal for defenses, which makes trapping Luka Doncic even harder. Several times out of the half-court traps, Williams was pressed on the 3 point line, leaving one of the corners or the middle open. This opens up the Mavs to levels that Dallas hasn’t seen since they were able to surprise teams when Luka Doncic was still an up and comer.
  • Back to back great games from Derrick Jones Jr. Continued defense with strong rotations, as well as a lightning strike putback dunk, Jones also is playing well when hitting shots. The Mavs let him bring the ball up a couple times which led to hockey assists for him. This could be an interesting and unexpected way to take pressure of of Luka Doncic when Kyrie Irving is off the floor.,
  • The Bulls took Luka’s scoring out of the game better than almost any team I can recall in recent memory. Immediate traps at half-court, full court pressure, and packing the paint and refusing to allow simple switches on screens. They were extremely physical on him, making him more worn down and forcing short misses offensively.
  • Luka Doncic picked up his first technical of the year, but he didn’t let his emotions get to him. He also played the entire 4th quarter outside of the final seconds, as did Lively. This highlights both the shape Doncic is in and the coaching staff’s trust in his shape to not drop off defensively (outside of a couple plays, he was mostly involved defensively), and the trust this team has in their rookie center. In a tough matchup against two dominant bigs that both did well, Lively prevailed and impacted the game without scoring much. The one thing that he will need to improve is he bobbles catches too often, which he will need to improve to get shots at the rim up more quickly.
  • Jevon Carter found holes in the Mavericks’ defense, and made an impact defensively. Luckily for Dallas, they found ways to counter and make up for his scoring, but like his reputation suggests, he also made an impact defensively which is where he helped trim the margin.
  • Nikola Vucevic dominated the Mavs on the boards with the first 20-20 game of the 2023-24 NBA season. The Mavericks struggled against the post-oriented big, which could be a point of attack for future matchups against Dallas. I would like to see the Mavs experiment with Richaun Holmes in these kinds of matchups as an alternative style big, as opposed to Dwight Powell (who still held his own in his own right). 
  • Maxi Kleber injured his foot, and called for a sub out and immediately went to the locker room. By the looks of it, given his age + foot injuries for bigs, this has potential to be a sustainable injury. Holmes should get his fair share of minutes, which could lead to an audition for a backup big man role. 
  • Zach LaVine is one of the most skilled and unstoppable 1-on-1 scorers in the league with so many different moves, quick separation ability, and outstanding burst and athleticism. He had a strong first half, but was unable to truly get going in the fourth. This leads to the overarching problem I have with Chicago: they have the talent to be a no-doubt playoff team, but struggle to truly put it together. They lack a true point guard like Lonzo Ball, but have improved their depth enough in that regard for that not to be a major issue, even if none of the guards are as high-level of playmakers. The Bulls cannot continue running this system; either a personnel change will have to come to management pieces, or they may need to accept their fate heading towards mediocrity and trade someone like DeMar DeRozan while they can as he hits free agency in the summer.