Bulls-Wizards Preview

Washington Wizards Status Check:
Record: 14-46
Division: 4-7
Conference: 10-32
Road Record: 6-24
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Streak: Lost 2
Last game: 98-89 loss to Cleveland
PPG: 93.1 (24th)
Opponents PPG: 99.8 (25th)
Offensive Rating: 100.5 (29th)
Defensive Rating: 107.8 (25th)
Pace: 92.5 (7th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .469 (26th)
Turnover Percentage: .142 (20th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .707 (25th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .273 (17th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .189 (24th)
Opp. eFG%: .498 (22nd)
Opp. TO%: .138 (18th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .231 (26th)
Leading scorer: John Wall (16.5)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Washington Injury Report:
Andray Blatche: strained calf/conditioning (out indefinitely)
Trevor Booker: plantar fasciitis (out indefinitely)
Nene Hilario: plantar fasciitis (out indefinitely)
Rashard Lewis: bone bruise (out indefinitely)
Roger Mason: to undergo finger surgery (out for season)

If there was any doubt, Detroit proved that no one is going to roll over—even at this point in the season. It took a late three pointer and an overtime period for the Bulls to beat the Pistons. Now it’s a short turn-around as the Bulls take on the team with the second-worst record in the league, Washington.

But according to John Wall, the Wizards are fighting for every game. “I know if you play the game of basketball you might be tired but you have to continue and finish the season out strong,” Wall said. “I don’t know how a lot of guys are feeling right now or how they are, but I know the last two games all of us have been mad about losing.”

Chicago gets to go back home tonight, where they are 24-6. The Bulls last home loss was April 2nd against Houston. The loss against the Rockets was also on the second night of a back-to-back. The Bulls are 12-4 this season with no rest.

Not only did the Bulls not have a day off, but they are coming into this one after playing an extra period of basketball. Luol Deng played the most minutes (45), but Carlos Boozer (42), Derrick Rose (41) and Joakim Noah (40) were all above 40 minutes. The starters needed to log this much time, because the bench wasn’t playing as well as they normally do.

Much like last night’s game against Detroit, the Bulls really just need to take care of business. They are the better team by far, and need to play their game. They can’t continue playing down to opponents.

With all due respect to the Pistons, that game shouldn’t have been close. And shouldn’t have gone in overtime. Chicago is the much better team, but the Bulls were getting out-hustled at many points. That shouldn’t happen two nights in a row.

Washington is 6-24 on the road this season, but beat the Magic in Orlando less than a week ago.

The Bulls won the first two meetings between the two teams—one of which was the then-infamous John Lucas 28-attempts game. We now know that this 11-28 from the field, 1-7 from three shooting night was just the tip of the iceberg.

In the second game, Rose dropped 35 points, thanks in large part to his 15 free throw attempts (he made 14 of them). John Wall led the Wizards in scoring, finishing with 20 points. Scoring point guards…this match-up will make Skip Bayless’ head explode.

Chicago has a 3.5 game lead over Miami for home court, with six games left. The Bulls need to get the easy wins, before playing the Heat on Thursday.

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