The Washington Wizards have taken a 2-0 series lead against the Chicago Bulls and a first round winner may be crowned sooner rather than later. The Wizards are returning home to the nation’s capital on Friday to a sold out Verizon Center. The game will be broadcasted at 8:00pm EST on ESPN.
- John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 42 points in Game 2. They made just 7 combined shots in Game 1, so I think it’s safe to say they bounced back well. Look for them to continue their stellar play at home.
- Nene was supposedly still going to be on a minutes restriction during the NBA Playoffs, but he played 40 minutes on Tuesday night before fouling out.
- Marcin Gortat finished Game 2 with 7 points on 2-9 shooting and just 5 rebounds in 37 minutes of action. Needless to say, he has to perform better on Friday.
- Washington made just 57% of their free throws on 28 attempts in Game 2. Make your “free” throws, guys.
Key Match Up:
Washington’s big men have more than held their own against Chicago’s front court, especially with the reemergence of Nene during Game 1. With that said, they have to do a better job of rebounding the ball. The Wizards gave up 17 offensive rebounds in Game 2 and they have to secure the defensive boards.
Taj Gibson has overwhelmed Marcin Gortat with his athleticism, putting up 22 points and 10 rebounds off the bench in Game 2. Gortat had a rough start to the game and never really recovered. Thankfully for Washington, Trevor Booker was solid off the bench with 9 points and 8 rebounds.
Nene has been consistent all playoffs long, but he’s certainly gotten the best of Joakim Noah in both contests. The Defensive Player of the Year has struggled to guard Nene all series and Washington has to continue running their offense through him, in order to free up their guards for better looks. The Bulls have done a great job at taking away the three point shot from Washington’s wing players, but when they’re scoring in the paint, the perimeter should open up.
The battle of the bigs might determine the outcome of the series, and so far, Washington’s front court has gotten the edge. Carlos Boozer was a non-factor in both games, and if the Wizards continue to shut him down, they might not be back at the United Center.