Wizards-Bulls Preview

Washington Wizards Status Check:
Record: 4-16
Division: 2-2
Conference: 3-12
Home Record: 3-8
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Streak: Won 1
Last game: 102-99 win over Charlotte
PPG: 88.8 (27th)
Opponents PPG: 98.2 (25th)
Offensive Rating: 94.8 (30th)
Defensive Rating: 104.8 (24th)
Pace: 93.7 (4th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .443 (29th)
Turnover Percentage: .146 (17th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .708 (28th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .254 (17th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .187 (24th)
Opp. eFG%: .495 (23rd)
Opp. TO%:  .149 (10th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .215 (16th)
Leading scorer: Nick Young (16.4)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Washington Injury Report:
Ronny Turiaf: out 4-6 weeks (broken hand)

After playing one of the best teams in the league, in a hard fought battle, the Bulls have a quick turn-around before taking on one of the worst teams in the league.

Chicago travels to Washington tonight, a team they beat earlier in the season without Derrick Rose. The Washington game was the infamous “28 attempts” game from John Lucas. Lucas started because Rose and Watson were out. He scored 25 points, going 11-28 from the field, and added eight assists and eight rebounds.

John Wall scored eleven points on 4-13 shooting, to go along with five rebounds and eight assists. For Wall to get outplayed by Lucas is not a good day (honestly, it’s not really good for any NBA starter, but Wall was supposed to make “the leap” this year). But who knows how Lucas is feeling today, after his soul was stomped on by LeBron James yesterday. Actually maybe his soul was jumped over, and then landed on. Either way, John Lucas surely got a lot of phone calls about what happened yesterday.

And what did happen yesterday?

Rip Hamilton returned from injury and didn’t have much of a game. He went 4-16 from the field for eleven points, grabbed five rebounds and added three steals. He did play solid defense on Wade, holding the Chicago-native to 4-16 shooting (they matched) for 15 points. Wade had four rebounds and seven assists.

If Hamilton’s defense is factored in he had an alright game. It was hard to tell whether his offensive struggles were because he was out of rhythm, Miami’s defense was too good, he was expending a lot of energy trying to stop Wade, or that his injury still bothered him. But Hamilton wasn’t perfect. He also apparently reinjured himself in the game, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago.com.

Carlos Boozer went 5-10 from the field for ten points, grabbed nine rebounds, and he disappeared more than Harry Houdini. But Houdini did it magically, Boozer does it depressingly.

Rose scored 34 points (11-28 from the field, 12-14 from the line) to go with six rebounds and six assists. Derrick and Rip were the only starters with positive plus/minus numbers (+4 and +2, respectively). Rose played 45 minutes though and expended so much energy; it will be interesting to see how much he has left in the tank for tonight’s game.

But it gets easier tonight. And now, to look at the loss positively, the Bulls have a lot to work on moving forward. That can be seen as a good thing if they can make some of the necessary adjustments. And also remember the Bulls took the regular season meetings last season against the Heat, and ended up losing in the playoffs, so this loss isn’t a death sentence. It should be looked at as a way to improve and figure out how to beat Miami when it truly matters.

Back to Washington. In the first match-up between the Bulls and Wizards, Washington shot 31 percent from the field as a team, was out-rebounded by 16 and had five less assists than the short-handed Bulls.

But some of the Bulls starters were no-shows. Carlos Boozer scored just four points on 2-7 shooting (Maybe this is Boozer showing up? It’s hard to tell at this point). Deng scored 12 points on 5-21 shooting and Ronnie Brewer added a whopping two points on 1-6 shooting. Deng did grab 15 rebounds though. But don’t expect Lu on the court tonight.

Kyle Korver put in a solid game, with 14 points (5-10), as did Taj Gibson (nine points, six rebounds).

The Wizards are coming off a win over Charlotte. Nick Young scored 21 points on 9-15 shooting; JaVale McGee scored 22 on 9-14 shooting and added 10 rebounds. They shot 52.6 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from three, which allowed them to overcome a rebounding differential of ten (the Bobcats had nine more offensive rebounds than Washington).

The Bulls still have enough injuries to fill up a hospital, but they should be able to win in Washington without some of their players. Chicago beat the Wiz by 14 points, only allowing Washington to score 64 points. This one shouldn’t come down to free throws in the last minute.

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