Chicago Bulls Stat Monkey Brief: Bulls/Mavs (11/28/12)

Bulls writer Andy Day takes a look at Chicago's High Variance Strategy and how slowing down the pace could help them against Dallas.

After blowing a HUGE lead on Monday to the Bucks, the Bulls look to bounce back against struggling Mavs squad. Both teams are still trying to find their identities without their superstars, and both are coming off loses that ended in less than stellar fashion. Let’s take a look at how the Bulls matchup with the Mavs tonight.

All A-Board!

The key to this matchup for the Bulls is rebounding, facing off against one of the worst rebounding squads in the league. In terms of offensive rebounding, the Mavs are checking in as the penultimate in the league, only grabbing 21.3% of boards on offense. The Bulls are above average in defensive rebounding, currently 10th in the league, grabbing 73.7% of boards on their side of the floor. The Bulls are also one of the best offensive rebounding units so far this season, snagging 31% of misses while on offense. The Mavs, on the other hand, are one of the worst on their own glass, only pulling down 70.8% of opponent misses. If the Bulls can be dominant on the glass, the Bulls should be able to give the fans at the UC something to cheer about tonight.

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! Pump the Breaks!

So far this season, the Mavs have been one of the fastest moving teams on offense, averaging 94.4 possessions a game; 3 more per game than the Bulls. Both pushing the tempo and slowing it down are forms of a “High Variance Strategy,” which in essence allows for more variation in the scoring of both teams (for more info, see here). By playing with a high variance strategy, underdogs will win more often and better teams will lose more often. Because both teams are without their big name players, they are trying to compensate slightly by changing the pace of the game. The Mavs are going to look to run the ball up and down the court, whereas the Bulls will try and slow down the tempo and keep the scoring opportunities low for both teams.