Apr 27, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) knocks the ball from Chicago Bulls guard D.J. Augustin (14) in the fourth quarter in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 98-89. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2014, Wizards vs. Bulls: Game 5 Preview, Notes and Prediction Poll

 

If you were to tell me that the Washington Wizards would have a chance to advance to the second round of the NBA Playoffs prior to the beginning of the regular season, I wouldn’t have believed you. Well, after Sunday nights victory over the Chicago Bulls in the nation’s capital, the Wizards are now leading the series 3-1 and have a shot at advancing on Tuesday at Chicago. The game will tip off at 8:00pm EST.

Notes:

Key Match Up:

Joakim Noah‘s presence defensively has certainly been felt throughout the series, but I don’t think anybody expected Nene to get the best of him, especially since he was coming off a long layoff following a sprained MCL. Washington has been able to stay afloat with Nene out of the lineup, but it’s no question that they’re a better team when he’s on the floor. The Wizards still secured the ‘W’ in Game 4, but they’ll need Nene to close out the series, especially on the defensive side of the floor.

When Nene has been active, the Wizards have consistently looked for him in the post when being defended by Noah. Nene has given Noah fits throughout his entire career and I believe he has a significant advantage. Noah is the Defensive Player of the Year, and he’s deserving, but I’m not sure he’s accustomed to defending versatile, skilled bigs like Nene. Before the playoffs began, I said the outcome of the Wizards/Bulls series may be determined by the bigs, and so far, Washington’s front court has outplayed Chicago’s.

I’m interested to see how Nene begins the game right out of the gate, because if Game 5 is anything like the three prior playoff games Nene’s been in, Washington will look for him early.

Prediction:

Who's Going to Win Game 5?

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Tags: Joakim Noah Nba Playoffs Nba Playoffs 2014 Nene Nene Wizards Washington Wizards Wizards Vs Bulls Wizards Vs. Bulls Game 5

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