The Wizards take on the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night in a matchup between two teams trying not to slip out of the playoff picture. The Bulls currently hold the 8-seed but are just three games ahead of the Wizards who are in the 10 spot.
John Wall is hot off a triple-double and is looking to keep that momentum rolling as this could potentially be a key game for playoff positioning down the road. The Bulls will be without Nikola Mirotic and Jimmy Butler so this is a prime opportunity for the Wizards to pounce on a hobbled team.
The Wizards beat the Bulls in Chicago 114-100 the last time these two teams played, and it's something about the United Center that brings out the best in recent Wizards' squads.
When: February 24 @ 8 PM EST.
Where: United Center
TV: ESPN, CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 99.1 WNEW
For the Bulls, Pau Gasol will be a game-time decision. Nikola Mirotic and Jimmy Butler are out. For the Wizards, Gary Neal and Alan Anderson are game-time decisions.
What to Watch
Free Throw Shooting: The Wizards are shooting a horrific 62.4 percent from the charity stripe since the All-Star break. That's really bad. It's expected that Gortat and Nene are going to miss their fair share of free throws but it seems that has become contagious with the rest of the team. Beal is shooting 44 percent (4-9) from the free throw line since the All-Star break. There's no reason Beal should be under 80 percent. Free throw shooting hasn't cost this team a win over the past four games but if they keep it up, it's only a matter of time.
Can the Wizards hold another opponent under 100 points? It's clear that defense was a point of emphasis over the break. The Wizards have held three of their last four opponents under 100 points and the only team to crack 100 was Miami on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back. On the other hand, the Bulls are averaging 112.3 points per game in three games since the All-Star break even though Jimmy Butler has been out. Something has got to give. This will be a good barometer for fans to determine if this team has actually bought in defensively.