The Washington Wizards have only won a single road game this season, and they were dealing with as many injuries as the Bulls missing Howard, Lewis, and Blatche. Is it any surprise the Bulls were able to walk away with this one?
Chicago followed a similar pattern of playing a close half and then annihilating its opponent in the second half with suffocating defense.
The Bulls rolled to an easy victory largely behind outstanding rebounding and three point shooting as the team went 12 of 32 from beyond the arc and put up 18 more shot attempts than the Wizards on the night while shooting two more free throws as well.
You typically win basketball games pretty easily when you're getting 18 more chances to score than your opponent due to turnover differential and offensive boards, and that happened last night.
There was no real drama in the game outside of whether JaVale McGee would get his triple double (points, rebounds, blocks) which he finally scored with under a minute to go to finish it off.
It shows you a bit about where Washington is as a franchise, that the team went nuts trying to get him the triple double, and then after he had it there was a big celebration. You're down by 20 and your team wasted about four offensive possessions trying to get you a score prior to you picking a loose ball and dunking it.
I guess at that point, what else do you have to celebrate if you're Washington though?
Keith Bogans who knocked down 5 of 10 from behind the arc, played especially well for the Bulls. They're now 8-0 when Bogans scores 9 or more this season (see that, the Bogans anomaly is back). Derrick Rose continues to launch threes at a disturbing pace knocking down 2 of 7 on the night.
So beyond the game, the real news is that the Bulls stand alone, for at least 24 hours as the #1 seed, pulling a half game ahead of the Boston Celtics who host Indiana tonight. The Celtics aren't resting guys in an attempt to go into the playoffs healthy this year, they're fighting their asses off to maintain position, but they're doing so unsuccessfully so far.
Can Indy pull off the upset tonight? Doesn't seem likely, but not much seemed likely about the Celtics last three losses to the Clippers, 76ers, and Nets, so you never know. If I'm a Boston fan, I'm scared of tumbling behind Miami if things don't get better soon.
The Bulls are primed for a big playoff run. They're more likely than not to get the #1 seed now, but remember things can change dramatically in a week of basketball, so no counting chickens just yet.
If the Bulls capture the #1 seed, then they should make their way at least to the ECF. The first round would be a laugher series, and they should beat Orlando in the second round (even though I'm sure Orlando makes it a tough series). At that point, I'll hope Boston takes care of Miami for us, and we'll throttle the Celtics on our way to the Finals where the I'll take the Bulls over any team in the West.
I'm not picking out my replica Bulls Championship trophy or pricing 1.7% tattoos just yet, but the #1 seed makes things all the more likely for us to win this year, and at the very least, the Bulls have shed the title of dark horse and moved up to contender.