Washington Wizards Status Check:
Home Record: 14-15
Last 10 Games: 2-8
Streak: Lost 5
Last game: Lost 105-99 to Dallas
PPG: 96.9 (22nd)
Opponents PPG: 103.8 (22nd)
Offensive Rating: 102.4 (27th)
Defensive Rating: 109.7 (22nd)
Pace: 93.6 (10th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .476 (26th)
Turnover Percentage: .141 (25th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .714 (29th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .264 (15th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .211 (27th)
Opp. eFG%: .513 (26th)
Opp. TO%: .142 (8th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .250 (25th)
Leading scorer: Nick Young (17.8)
Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.
Wizards Injury Report:
Andray Blatche: hip (day to day)
Al Thornton: undisclosed (day to day)
Two of the most exciting young point guards in the NBA take the court tonight in D.C.; John Wall and Derrick Rose. These two John Calipari (Kentucky and Memphis respectively) products were selected number one in their respective drafts, are crazy athletic, and are faster than most Kia’s.
So, now that we’re more than halfway through the season, let’s take a look at each player’s numbers in their rookie seasons. Through 46 games Wall is averaging 15.5 points, 9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. In 2008-2009, Rose averaged (in 81 games) 16.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists and .8 steals per game. Wall seems to have the better numbers there. But he shoots only 41% from the field, while Rose shot 47.5% his rookie season. He also averages 3.7 turnovers, while Rose averaged 2.5.
These numbers are all very close. The biggest knock on Wall’s game is that he doesn’t have a great jumper. Although, if you remember, Rose didn’t come into the league with a great shot either.
Anyway, the point is this will be a great battle to watch. And if Wall is anything like Rose, which most NBA fans are hoping he is; he’ll want to prove his skill against one of the league’s best point guards.
But basketball isn’t a one-man game. And Rose’s teammates are definitely better than Wall’s. They’ve showed that in the first two matchups between the two teams and in the past. The Bulls took both games by seven points this year and in his career Rose is 7-2 against Washington. Wall missed the most recent game between the two on December 22.
The Wizards are coming in colder than an Eskimo’s toilet seat, winning just 3 of their last 19. Those wins came against Cleveland (their first road win of the season), Milwaukee and Boston. To be fair to Boston, they were starting Semih Erden at center; because all of their bigs were hurt and apparently no local high schools would allow their centers to play for them. And I didn’t hear Wall call “bank” when he shot this.
To get the win, Chicago will have to shut down Nick Young. It will be interesting to see if Keith Bogans (who seems to only be on the floor because of his defense) can stop Nick Young, who never passes up an open shot…or a contested shot…alright he just never passes.
The upside: Bogans actually scored his second highest point total of the season against the Wizards back in November. He went off, for Keith Bogans standards, for 11 points. Anytime Bogans scores more than 5, it’s a good day. The downside: he only scored two in the second match-up of the season though.
Keith Bogans isn’t often going to win you a game, but foul shots could. And that very well may have been the case in the first two games. Chicago went 49-63 from the charity stripe, while the Wizards went just 20-27 in the two matchups (Chicago averages 24.5 FTA/G and Washington averages 23.3 FTA/G). That’s 29 more points in the two games, in which they won by just 7 each.
The Bulls are clicking more and more with each game at full strength. Boozer missed the first Bulls-Wizards matchup (Rose: 24 points, Noah: 21 points 9 rebounds), while Noah missed the second (Rose: 25 points, 5 rebound and 5 assists, Boozer: 30 points and 10 rebounds). With their frontcourt back, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee are going to have their hands full.
This is Chicago’s last game before they face four straight playoff teams, three on the road. They need to win the easier one, and get more confidence for the tough ones coming up. The Bulls can win their 41st game tonight. That would match their win totals from the previous two seasons. But they still have 24 more games after tonight to add to that total.
About the Author:
Braedan Ritter was born and raised in Pennsylvania but was swayed by gifts from his aunt to follow the Chicago sports teams. It didn’t hurt that the Bulls had a guy named Michael Jordan playing for them, and the Sixers had…Derrick Coleman. Braedan has stuck with Chicago through thick and thin, and really thin (see: Chicago Cubs). And speaking of Coleman, Braedan is currently a student at Syracuse University.