Tonight, the Wizards face a team they wish they could have emulated a little better while John Wall was out. Even with Derrick Rose out, the Bulls have managed to stay near the top of the Central Division standings and have a decent shot at being a top-4 seed this year. Clearly, the Wizards couldn't replicate that with Wall out, but now that he's back, here's to hoping things go the Wizards' way tonight.
Where, When, and What Channel: The game will start at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center. You can watch it on Comcast SportsNet.
Why You Should Care: Because as much as everyone hails the OKC model as the plan for the Wizards to emulate, the Chicago plan is the one the Wizards are the closest to following. Not only do they both have top overall draft picks starting at point guard (when healthy) but they've also invested big money in veteran power forwards who can be effective when healthy. Both teams also rely heavily on their defense to get them through, especially when their point guards are hurt.
What They Do Well: Rose or no Rose, the Bulls are still an excellent defensive unit, thanks to Tom Thibodeau, who you may recall, was a Wizards assistant for four days back in 2007. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson play a big part in the Bulls' defensive success as well. The team's length, mobility and intensity is the driving force behind its defense and tends to make life extremely difficult for teams that are highly reliant on scoring points in the paint.
What They Do Poorly: While Chicago's defense has adjusted well to Rose's absence, their once-great offense has fallen apart without him. After finishing last season with the NBA's fifth best offensive rating, Chicago has dropped to 20th this year. The main culprit has been a lack of a reliable drive and kick player, as Chicago has fallen from third to 25th in the NBA in points per possession on spot-up opportunities according to MySynergySports.com.
How the Wizards Match Up With Them: Not too well. Chicago has the NBA's best defense against post ups this year and Washington's offense is heavily reliant on Nene's ability to draw defensive attention that can lead to spot up shots for players like Martell Webster and Bradley Beal. At the same time, Chicago has a number of weak defenders in the backcourt, most notably Nate Robinson and Richard Hamilton, something that players like Beal, Wall and Jordan Crawford could look to take advantage of.
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