Wizards vs. Bulls Preview: Another important game with playoff seeding implications

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Washington Wizards (40-36) will host the Chicago Bulls (44-32) at home. Here's what you need to know.

The Wizards have finally hit the 40-win mark with Friday's hard fought victory over the New York Knicks, which put a dent in New York's playoff hopes. But if the Wizards win Saturday against the Chicago Bulls, they will guarantee themselves a .500 record, and they will sweep the Chicago Bulls, a team that Washington could very well face in the first round of the playoffs.

Where and when? Tip off is at 7 p.m. at Verizon Center. The game will air on Comcast SportsNet Plus, because the main channel will air the Washington Capitals' road game against the New York Islanders at 5 p.m.

If you are heading to the game, give yourself extra time because the Washington Nationals will host the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, and that game is starting at 7:05 p.m. Since baseball season just started and with Stephen Strasburg as the Nats' starting pitcher tonight, there will be a big crowd there.

Who's out? Nene and Glen Rice, Jr. are out for Washington. Derrick Rose is out for Chicago.

Are they good and what are they good at? Yes. They're one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, led by their do-it-all center Joakim Noah, who is having an excellent season. I know we talk a lot about Nene as a playmaker from the low post, but Noah has been even better. He is averaging 5.2 assists while only committing 2.45 turnovers a game this season. Those are really good numbers for anyone, much less a center.

The Bulls also are very balanced on offense, where six players who have played at least 56 games averaging at least 10 points a game.

What are they bad at? Keeping Derrick Rose healthy. This team could have at least some chance to be a top two seed this season if he was playing.

We know the Wizards are trying to at least remain No. 6 in the East. What about the Bulls and their playoff hopes? The Bulls are fighting for the third seed in the East against the Toronto Raptors, who also have a 44-32 record. If the Bulls can be the third seed for the Playoffs, I'd call this a successful season for them considering the Rose injury.

Who wins? Both the Wizards and Bulls have been playing great ball lately, and I'm going to say that it's more likely that Chicago wins. But I'm not a really good predictor of games, so don't take my word for it.

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