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Wizards vs Bulls preview: Top East contenders go head to head

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In a rematch of last year's first round playoff matchup, the Chicago Bulls visit the Washington Wizards on a three-game winning streak, hoping to add to the woes of the Wizards after their Sunday loss to the Phoenix Suns.

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Did someone say "rivalry"?

Whether you agree or not, the two teams have a bit of a rivalry working, after the WizKids knocked the Bulls out of the playoffs in five games last year - underdog style.

Washington also went 2-1 against Chicago last season.

So, if you're in the mood for some #QuickAintFair moves, then you should probably watch tonight's matchup between Derrick Rose and John Wall, I mean the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards.

Now, two of the league's fastest, most versatile point guards will be going head to head - and no, we don't mean Jimmy Butler v. Nene head to head - in what I want to consider a must-win for Washington as it heads into a tough stretch of schedule.

Where and when? It's a Festivus treat! Catch the game in person at the Verizon Center, or over on Comcast at 7 p.m.

Who's out? Ugh, Martell Webster is still out - but we are inching closer to his highly-anticipated return! Paul Pierce remains day to day with a pesky toe injury and though he didn't practice Monday, he will play Tuesday. Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah are all listed on Chicago's injury report (per EPSN), but all played in last night's game vs. Toronto, in which they won 129-120.

Are they good? Um, ya. At 18-9, Chicago is leading the Central Division, winning their last three games and nine of their last 12. Jimmy Butler has shined in those three wins against the New York Knicks, Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors, putting up 35 points, 31 points and 27 points, respectively. The Bulls are also killin' it across the statistics board, ranking 8th overall in points per game (103.2), 7th in rebounds per game (44.9), 12th in assists per game (22.0) and 12th in points allowed per game (99.2). They're also 12-4 on the road - an Eastern Conference best.

Can we please talk JW vs. DR? Duh, how can we not? Wall and Rose are considered some of the best athletes on the NBA floor - fast, accurate and talented. This season, his fifth, Wall is shooting 44.7 percent from the field - a career best, while averaging 10.5 assists per game, also a career high. No one can argue that the Wizards are John's team. Rose, on the other hand, shares the stage with his teammates, not necessarily the pure leader - which also is not necessarily a bad thing. Rose is shooting 43.7 present from the field and averaging just 5.0 assists per game, below his career average of 6.7.

The two young stars - 24 and 26, respectively - were both the first pick overall in their draft years and are constantly compared to one another. Though they have different playing styles and run two completely different teams, their matchup tonight is undoubtedly one to watch.

(I also want to point out that Wall's signature shoe with Adidas is way cooler looking than Rose's.)

Playoffs!? As is known, the Wizards reached the playoffs for the first time since 2005 last season and knocked out the Bulls in five games in which Wall averaged 18.8 points, Bradley Beal averaged 19.8 and Nene added 17.8. Oh ya, there was also a Nene head butt that I never want to forget about.

Tonight's game is the first of four in the season series and could be a great foreshadow of another playoff matchup at the season's end.

Who wins? Man, if Washington plays how they did Sunday against the Phoenix Suns, shooting just 41.0 percent from the field and dishing out a season-low 11 assists, they're doomed. Both teams are fast and both teams are aggressive - and it won't matter who is winning by the end of the first, second or third quarters, as both can close out a fourth quarter non-reminiscent of the prior three. Both have speedy offenses, stifling defenses and home / away records that perfectly clash.

Can't wait - Wiz by 5.