On a back-to-back, the Washington Wizards are visiting Chicago for the sole time this season trying to avoid a 0-3 sweep by the Bulls.
When: Monday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: United Center, Chicago
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Raul Neto (Out), Thomas Bryant (ACL, Out)
Bulls: Lauri Markanen (Day-To-Day, Out), Otto Porter, Jr. (Out)
Being swept by the Bulls, or restart the season — Seriously, if the Wizards are swept by the Bulls 0-3, then I think it is fair to say in earnest that this is a tanking season and we can shift to posts about replacement coaches, and draft prospects. If the Wizards win, we can keep aspiring to contend for the no. 10 seed for the play-ins in the #SoWizards way. Then the question gets asked: does making the 10th seed count as having a postseason?
No Russell Westbrook, more hyper-efficient Ish Smith — This is a back-to-back so no Westbrook. In the previous two losses to the Bulls at home Westbrook played. Perhaps his absence can flip the script on this one as Ish Smith is among the league leaders with a 4.7 assist/turnover ratio. The next Wizards in that list is Deni Avdija at #31 league-wide with 3 yet his minutes have been inconsistent with Brooks.
Bradley Beal - where to? — At times, it seems that Beal is receiving little to no guidance from Brooks but keeps logging heavy minutes (at no. 15 leaguewise). This of course takes a heavy toll on Brad’s defense: Beal currently has essentially the team’s worst defensive rating (outside of Hachimura, who continues to be lost on that end of the floor). Perhaps a couple minutes less of Beal and few more of Mathews or Troy Brown, Jr. could improve the defense as well as Brad’s own efficiency.
Can someone please replace Brooks?— Not much to elaborate here.
Flashback: Bertans misses, then Hachimura with a failed football pass, fail to equalize
On December 31, the Wizards lost 130-133 to the Bulls after missing two chances to hit a game-equalizing three: