Washington Wizards vs Chicago Bulls Preview
Wizards 13-22 vs Bulls 9-26
When: Friday, December 28th, at 7 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBC Sports Washington, WGN / Radio: 1500 AM, WSCR-AM 670
Wizards: Dwight Howard (Day to Day/ Back), Otto Porter Jr (Day to Day/ Knee )
Bulls: Bobby Portis (Out/ Sprained Right Ankle), Denzel Valentine (Out for Season/ Ankle)
112.7 - points per game
117.7 - points against
46.5 - Field goal %
100.7 - points per game
110.2 - points against
44.3 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Zach Lavine: has emerged as one of the brightest shooting guards in the NBA this season, due to him being a more complete player now. Lavine is averaging 23.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.7 assist a game on 45 percent shooting from the field, 33 percent shooting from deep and 86 percent shooting from the line. Everything the Bulls are trying to do starts and end with Lavine. Contain the high flying wing and it will deflate a struggling Chicago team.
Free throw Shooting: The Wizards are at their best offensively when they’re attacking the basket and getting to the charity stripe, instead of settling for jumpers. Washington is currently 7th in the NBA in free throw attempts (25 per game), yet they’re 19th in free throw percentage (75%). The Wizards struggles at the line are amplified due to their struggles from 3-point range where they’re ranked 29th in the league, shooting 32 percent on the season. Since the triple overtime win over Phoenix, Washington has shot 18-68 from deep in losses to Indiana and Detroit, increasing the importance on coming through at the line to make up for it. Free throw shooting can spark and extend runs, Chicago will put the Wizards on the line, and it’s as good a time as any to make the improvement.
Cut down on the turnovers: When Washington loses leads or when teams extend short leads to insurmountable leads, it’s usually due to turnovers. A lot of them in a short span. In losses to Indiana and Detroit, Washington averaged 19 turnovers a game with Wall having 13 of the teams 38 turnovers. It’s hard to win giving the opposing team extra possessions. For the season, Washington averages 14.3 turnovers per game which is 19th in the NBA. The turnovers must stop, especially with the shooting woes at the free throw and three point line, or the losing will continue.