Since the last time these teams played, Washington has managed to shed Gilbert Arenas' contract for Rashard Lewis. Arenas crushed the Bulls with his three point shooting single handedly preventing a blowout, but not doing enough for the win. John Wall will miss the game depriving us of one of the more hyped matchups and only reason to really watch Washington.
However, Rashard Lewis destroyed Boozer in his first game back by hanging outside the three point line. Boozer routinely got caught in no man's land. Too far from the basket to help on the glass, too far from Lewis to contest the three point shot.
"I'm playing," Gibson said. "For sure."
"He's feeling better and was able to do some light exercise," Thibodeau said. "So I think he'll be fine after (Tuesday)."
Keys to the game
Derrick Rose needs to own Kirk Hinrich
I initially thought he'd need to own John Wall, but with Wall out, Derrick will get to play against the very familiar Kirk Hinrich. Of the two, Hinrich will probably trouble him much more defensively, but won't push him any on the offensive end.
Derrick can use his explosion to get past Hinrich, but Kirk does a nice job of funnelling players to the help defense appropriately. Kirk usually likes to fight over screens, so Derrick should play aggressively off the pick and roll looking to attack the basket.
Kurt Thomas and Omer Asik need to rough up McGee
McGee has a hell of a lot more athleticism than Elton Brand or Spencer Hawes, so Kurt Thomas will need to use his size and strength to box him out and rough him up in the paint. Battle him with elbows and make him simply not want it bad enough. The same goes for Omer Asik who can at least match up with his length though he can't match McGee's athleticism.
Both players should play physical on McGee to deny him position and mentally check him out of the game by using physical play.
Carlos Boozer needs to stay out of no man's land
It's a different ball game, because he no longer needs to help on Dwight Howard, but Boozer can't get caught in the middle against Rashard Lewis again. Either stay close enough to contest his jumper or stay close enough to the paint to help on the glass. Don't get caught in position to do neither which is what happened when Boozer was tasked to defend Lewis against the Magic.
The Bulls might want to go small and put Deng on Lewis, Boozer at center, and let Brewer and Korver play the 2 and 3 at times in order to match up with the Wizards athleticism and spacing. Lewis won't beat you on the inside, so it's a good opportunity to do so.
Double team Nick Young when he gets the ball
Once he gets the ball, there's only about a 3% chance it leaves his hands in a direction other than towards the hoop. Young's a talented scorer, but he simply does not pass, and if he has to pass, he's extremely unlikely to pass to someone who's open for a shot. He has one of the lowest assist rates in the league, so know your personnel and play him to score and over extend your coverage on him, because he's shown absolutely no ability to make you pay by finding an open teammate.
The Wizards aren't very good, but no game is an easy game without Gibson and Noah. The Wizards do have the ability to space the floor, score the basketball, and have interior athleticism to give the Bulls fits without their two most athletic big men.
On the other hand, the Wizards would struggle to defend me and four of my friends, so the Bulls have their way on offense.
Road games are always tough, as are the second half of back to backs, but the Bulls are simply the better team, even with the injuries, and should win.