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Wizards prep for big showdown with Bulls

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Today's Wake-Up Call takes a look at tonight's big game against the Bulls, and why the Wizards aren't going after Josh Smith.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

1. No big deal?

The Wizards are trying to downplay the importance of tonight's game against the Chicago Bulls, but it's hard to deny the fact that this is a big game for at least a few reasons. First, John Wall will finally go head-to-head with Derrick Rose. That, in itself, should be enough to attract even the most conservative of Wizards fans. Second, the bad blood from last year's playoffs. It spilled over into the preseason when the teams met, and resulted in some suspended Wizards for the regular season opener. Third, how will the Wizards respond after their loss to a feisty Phoenix Suns team? Things won't be any easier tonight.

They can't fool me; this game is a big one.

2. Paul Pierce thinks otherwise

Whether the rest of his teammates are downplaying tonight's game, Pierce is, once again, letting his feelings and emotions be known. This isn't a game to take lightly in any respects and Pierce won't be in any mood to give the Bulls any holiday cheer.

3. #JS2DC isn't happening

Apparently the Wizards used to be interested in the excitingly frustrating forward. But now that the team is loaded with big men, that interest has dissipated. I prefer the Wizards drama-less, anyways.

4. A Christmas Day miracle

Imagine yourself just three years ago as the wounded Wizards fan that you were, struggling to keep your television on for the entire duration of another blowout loss.

Now picture yourself the way you will be this upcoming Christmas Day -- ignoring your family as you're crouched in front of your television, like an animal feasting on a prey, watching your hometown Wizards playing in New York City in front of a worldwide audience.

Or something like that. However you do it, just remember how much has changed for these Wizards, who will play on the biggest day during the regular season.

5. Wizards and Bulls lock horns tonight

That's right. They may still be slightly injury-plagued, but the Bulls (18-9) will have stars out on the court for tonight's matchup, nonetheless. I mentioned some of the reasons why tonight's affair will be a fun one and Bradley Beal vs. Jimmy Butler is another reason why tonight's game shouldn't be missed. Butler is an emerging superstar and Beal's future could be just as bright, so long as he figures out the reasons behind his too-often shooting slumps.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center. You can watch live on Comcast SportsNet+ or listen on 99.1 WNEW.