When: Saturday, November 12th at 8 p.m. ET
Where: United Center in Chicago, Illinois
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App
Wizards: John Wall (Out, Rest) Ian Mahinmi (Out, Knee), Bradley Beal (Questionable, Hamstring)
Bulls: Michel Carter-Williams (Out, Knee and Ankle)
What to Watch For
The pace of play
While the Bulls are top five in the NBA in offensive rating, they rank near the bottom of the league in pace (estimated possessions per 48 minutes). The Wizards do not rank quite as low as Chicago in this category, but will more than likely be methodical offensively without John Wall Saturday night.
In the first game Wall missed due to rest, against the Magic, Washington really slowed down the tempo to compensate for the offensive firepower they were missing. They had just three fastbreak points and scored 86 points overall.
Look for the Wizards to play a similar style against the Bulls Friday night and, hopefully, it will result in a win this time.
The Otto Porter vs. Jimmy Butler Matchup
Otto Porter is off to the best start of his career. He’s rebounding well, he has been Otto-matic from midrange and has gotten his three-point shot on track in the last few games after struggling from deep early on. He will, however, face a really tough matchup against Jimmy Butler Saturday night.
Butler is one of the best two-way players in basketball. He boasts a deadly mid-post game on the offensive end, and is a nightmare for opposing players on defense. As well as Porter has played this year, back-to-back games against LeBron James and Jimmy Butler is a tough ask of anybody. How Otto responds will go a long way towards determining how sustainable his impressive play to start the season is.
The Battle on the Offensive Glass
Both the Wizards and Bulls are among the top offensive rebounding teams in the NBA to start out the season. Chicago’s starting frontcourt of Taj Gibson, Robin Lopez and Jimmy Butler combine for almost eight offensive boards a game, while Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter are good for around six a night for Washington.
With the slowed down pace that this game will more than likely be played at, it will be critical for the Wizards to limit the Bulls’ second chance opportunities and to try and create some of their own.
Most Likely Wizard Killer: Doug McDermott
McDermott scored just 9.4 points per game last season but averaged more than 14 in three games against Washington. He is a flamethrower off the bench, shooting well over 40 percent from behind the arc for his career. The Wizards’ have really struggled to defend perimeter shooters the last two seasons and if their defensive rotations aren’t solid against the Bulls, McDermott could have a huge night.