Hello Wizard fans who are either hyped as ever and/or finished taking their daily does of aspirin. Two games are a lot to take in especially how close and entertaining this series has been. So I'm braking my observations into two parts to try to discuss as much as possible before Game 3. These past two games have been eventual at the least if not down right nerve-wracking. The media tone has changed from the Bulls "out-experiencing" the Wizards to us being too talented to handle. This can all changed if the Bulls take two from us at home as we've shown that home court advantage means nothing to us(literally have the best away record and one of the worst home record: 22-19). We were expected Thibs to take Wittman to school on how to be a defensive mastermind and a real HC and so far Wittman has passed without too much scarring. As for the roster themselves......let's just say I'm glad we get two free days before we play again. Hey, at least no was out there for as long as Jimmy Butler (53 min-I'll get back to him later). Now that we're two games in, I noticed certain trends that you have or have not seen which the media is beginning to realize. We may have already known these facts but to other fans, it comes out like this:
Anyway: let's get on with the show:
-Checking up on Blog a Bull reminded me that our happiness comes at the expense of someone else. As happy as we are, let's not go overboard and trash a fellow fanbase. They have every reason to believe their team to win like we do and homerism blinds us both. That being said I've listened to the Mitch & Nillz show prior to the series and after Game 2 and the language has changed DRASTICALLY. Before analysts alike were touting this was the perfect matchup for the Bulls and two games later.....they're not singing the same tune. What caught my attention to the recent podcast was Mitch believing that John Wall is the guy and since he isn't doing well, his "struggles" will affect the team.
Let's get this clear to everyone. John Wall is the franchise leader and best player on our team BUT he is not the team.
When we play an opponent, John Wall does not have to score 20 pts or carry the scoring for the whole team for us to win(He does need to score though). Heck, I believe within two years (if not next year) Beal will average more points than Wall and because Wall is the PG and almost a true one at that. His job is to keep the offense running and making the rights plays for us to win. In the era where Mitch despises "hero ball" like myself, this team embraces that. No one on the team or this fanbase cares who gets more than 20 pts in the game. WE. JUST. WANT. WINS.
As for the fans that are currently complaining about how the game was reffed, I have a perfect solution to the problem: Don't allow Joey Crawford to officiate your games. Request a special notice to ban him from officiating any future games and everyone will be fine. We've been there.
- 16/28 FT
Nothing more needs to be said.
-Battle of the Metropolitan Areas
Bulls fans pride themselves on their team's concrete wall of a defense. The far and few have been able to hang 100 pts or more on their team. We did it twice. Consecutively. Normally Thibs would've came up with a better plan to stop us in Game 2 which he did by adjusting the defense to stop the frontcourt. Beal had a field day and we more transition points(Game 1: 9pts, Game 2: 13pts). Wall played the same way in both games. What have we learned: Wall is definitely the focus on the opposing as he now had a great coming out party, so Thibs doesn't want him to beat us. Beal was a focus to. After Game 1, the focus was to not let Wall, Nene, Gortat (and/or Ariza) kill the team. Beal had a field day. What now? Maybe man defense? Zone? Thibs is definitely searching for answers for our unusually balanced team. There are not many teams as balanced as we are and that's where the Bulls exploit. However, all 5 of your starters can go for 20 pts and anyone on the bench can score double digits.
If there is anything I am surprised by is that we out-Chicagoed Chicago. Grit is something the Wizards aren't known for. Our identity is linked to how talented our backcourt's athleticism and youthfulness. However, when Thibs disrupted their game in the first match, they were unfazed. They found other ways to be productive than just scoring points. When Hinrich was trying to punk Beal, he didn't flinch. This is a testament to how far our young guns have matured and is a decent escape from the motley crew of Blatche, MeGee, Young, etc.
This is only a two game analysis as we don't what new scheme Thibodeau is cooking up for Friday. It will probably involve the "hype crew" of Hinrich, Augustin, Butler, Gibson and Noah which is the best defensive lineup and in some cases best offensive (this is from an eye test, did not check the stats). This lineup is effective at playing up tempo, gaining momentum from offensive rebounds and streaky shooting. This also the longest played lineup according to minutes per game. The problem with this lineup however is this looks like Thibodeau's trump card. He can not substitute for more offense without giving up some defense. Also this lineup is worn thin. I was astonished that Jimmy Butler played the whole game last night and over 40 minutes in Game 1. Noah also averaged over 40 minutes per game. This is a BIG reason why it could hard for Chicago to close out games. Not a single Wizard played over 40 minutes thus far. This is a testament to how much depth Wittman is willing to use and how stingy Thibodeau is. He has shooters but they play up to his caliber of defense. Is Thibodeau willing to change his principles in order to win or will he clamp down even harder by creating a defense equivalent to the Great Wall of China?
We'll know on Friday.
Who ready for craziness?!?!?!!?!!?!?!?