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Bulls vs. Wizards: Chicago defeats Washington 87-77

The Wizards outrebounded the Bulls but got killed in the turnover battle. Emeka Okafor was a terror on the boards, pulling down 19 boards to go with 11 points. Bradley Beal had 14 points on 15 shots as Washington failed to score in final five minutes of the game.


Family's been visiting from the east coast, so I've been out of the loop starting with the Detroit doubleheader and ending with the victory over the Magic. Fresh off a blowout loss at the hands of James Harden, Omer Asik and the Rockets, I have to admit I harbored a little anticipation at the thought of dealing the Bulls a losing streak with another former Bull (sort of) manning center while notching the Wizards first winning streak of the 2012/13 season. Armed with newest cult hero Garrett Temple and despite the absence of Jordan Crawford, the Wizards starting unit promptly refused to dig themselves a hole. Wiz up 26-22 with Bradley Beal hitting some early shots while Nene and Martell Webster went to work on the baseline. The second quarter flipped the script as per usual.

Out of the game stream, I have to say Temple is no slouch on defense. I like watching this kid breeze through screens with no apparent effort. That sort of movement is a big piece of what I dreamed of when I imagined our perimeter defense this season. He brings some rebounding and while his offensive effiency isn't inspiring (like I was expecting Kevin Martin), his ability to quickly get the Wizards into their sets puts additional pressure on the opposing defense for an offense that needs all the help it can get.

A sequence in the third bothered me quite a bit. Kevin Seraphin got the ball way too far from the hoop and immediately got into trouble against his man as he looked for a way to get off his hook. He began looking for a dumpoff to get the ball out, but not a soul was moving. That kind of offensive stagnation takes me back to the Andray Blatche featured player days. On the bright side, Bradley Beal got aggressive as the Bulls went at him on the other end. Also, Emeka Okafor sank consecutive jumpshots from the free-throw line. Yet every time the Wiz get close, they give up four to eight points before you can blink and they're stuck trying to grind their way back yet again.

Fourth quarter is more of the same. A smattering of hideous bricks, great defense, clawing back to never quite take the lead...too many possessions end up with ten seconds worth of ball-movement and Nene gets dumped the ball with seven or eight seconds left eighteen feet away from the basket with a defender breathing down his neck. Still, even with the Wizards getting bled on turnovers, they're just a hairsbreadth away with four minutes left in the final frame. And the Wizards commit a five second violation out of their own timeout. #Wizards And so the rest of the game went. Guess how many points the Wizards scored in the final five minutes of a winnable game?