Can the Chicago Bulls knock off the streaking Wizards?

The Washington Wizards tied their season high win streak last night... with 1. Can they extend their win streak on a back to back against the well rested Chicago Bulls at home? It doesn't seem likely. In theory, this game is exactly what the reeling Bulls need. A layup.

After getting blown out by Atlanta and Houston in their past two games, Chicago desperately needs a win to right the ship. The Bulls offense hasn't been any worse than it typically is, but the defense has completely disappeared. They shouldn't struggle on defense against a Wizards team last in the NBA in offensive rating.

Stay focused and fundamentally sound

The Wizards are going to beat themselves. Especially with Jordan Crawford leading the show. In case you missed it, Jordan Crawford once said he could be better than Michael Jordan.

"I don’t tell nobody, but I feel like I can be better than Michael Jordan," Crawford said, without the slightest hint of sarcasm. "When I’m done playing, I don’t want people to say, Michael Jordan is the best player. I want that to be me. That’s how I am. That’s how I was built."

And has the following views on shot selection (links here and here):

It’s not a bad shot until you miss it. That’s how it always is. I probably do take bad shots, but in a sense, we kind of need some of those shots I take. I can always improve on it and I will.

“It really comes down to if I make the shot, it’s a good shot,” Crawford said. “You know, you gotta be aggressive, regardless of what people are saying, how it is. You still gotta do you.”

This is a guy just dying to fire up as many shots as he can regardless of the difficulty. As long as the Bulls stay fundamentally strong, Jordan Crawford will chuck bad shots all game long, and miss most of them.

Revolving door of Wizards

Beyond a lack of talent, the Wizards have had significant injuries all season long altering their starting lineup. They've been without talented PG John Wall all season and veterans A.J. Price and Trevor Ariza are presently injured as well.

Emeka Okafor and Bradley Beal have been the only players to start over 20 games this season for the Wizards which likely hasn't helped their consistency any. Beyond that, the Wizards have a low talent level, a lack of discipline, and struggle to execute.

The Chicago Bulls should find plenty of success by merely being patient on offense and taking advantage of the lack of continuity of the Wizards personnel. This looks like a nice matchup for Luol Deng who will spend most of his time being guarded by Martell Webster or Garrett Temple, both of which he should be able to take advantage of.

Does panic set in if the Bulls drop this game?

The Bulls finished their "top 10" with a record of 5-4 and a game to be played later. That was better than I hoped for and would have me feeling really great about the team except for the back to back slaughters at the end. Any positivity gained from that stretch will be ruined by dropping a game to the worst team in the NBA while they come off a back to back and the Bulls come off three days rest.

It's difficult to imagine a much more embarrassing loss than to lose to the Wizards under the circumstances here. That said, I think there's almost no chance that happens. The team will be fired up and serious after their past two defeats and won't take the Wizards lightly like they have done under different circumstances.

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    15 years ago today, Bubba Wells (Dallas Mavericks) fouled Dennis Rodman (Chicago Bulls) six times in three minutes; a record that may never be broken. Rodman responded by going 9-12 from line,
    http://www.sportshistorytoday.com/bubba-wells-fouls-3-minutes-december-29-1997-6-fouls/

  • We already know what's going to happen...

    Rip is going to start, get 30min.
    Belinelli is going to come off the bench, get 20min, and score 5 points.
    After the game, we'll find out Rip got injured and will miss more games.

    Oh, and Deng and Noah will play 35+min where Thibs puts them back in the game with 4min left in a 15-20pt blowout.

  • Who cares if the Bulls are winning this season or not, I don't!!! I say that I don't care because of the F O of the Bulls doesn't care. I mean just watching other games and teams around the NBA and the talent of teams other young players, fans of the Bulls should realize that the Bulls F O is not about or trying to win this year or from what I'm seeing as far as the future of the Bulls are not trying to win anytime soon. I think that its sickening that bulls management is basically spitting in the face of the fans and this is why I have nothing positive to say about the Bulls management at this point, so again who cares cause the fans of the Bulls deserves ten times better than what's being forced on us as fans.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I feel the same way. I don't think the Bulls management cares about winning a championship. Most teams when you get a player like Derrick Rose who MVP level, you automatically start surrounding him with pieces that can contend for a title. Through a series of various trades and even going over the cap to get just the right players to compliment your star. We on the other hand are doing just the opposite; won't pull the trigga on any meaningful trades when the players are at there highest value and of course we are trying to avoid going over the cap. What that tells me and obviously other Bulls fans that the teams management can't be serious. They have made so many errors that I would need to start my own blog just to point them all out, and the problem is that management over values it's players, and despite what some people believe they do have a prejudice with the type of players they choose ( my personal opinion ) , and they refuse to go over the cap.

  • In reply to J Man:

    Eh, I think posts like this just show frustration and an unbalanced view of what has actually transpired. The Bulls ditched Kirk Hinrich with an asset just to make a better pitch to LeBron by being able to bring in two max contract players.

    They went all in on the greatest player in the game and legit max star players. The didn't win, but they went for it. They sacrificed the pedestrian players that everyone says tehy fall in love with including the franchise's 'golden boy' in order to go all in for it.

    It didn't work, so they then got Boozer who was the next best player available and had they not gotten Boozer they wouldn't have had a legit shot to win the championship the past two seasons.

    In fact, they have done EXACTLY what you've asked in terms of trying to get pieces to win around Rose, they just weren't able to get their top choices and the fall back plan wasn't a good enough player but there were no good enough players available.

    As for the "cap", the Bulls are well over the cap. They are also presently over the luxury tax right now [though it won't surprise me if they find a way to get under it]. That said, I don't see tons and tons of moves that the Bulls could have made to have a better team right now. If you see tons and tons of moves the Bulls should have made, I don't think you're being fair for how possible those moves were or I don't think you're looking how much sense they made at the time.

    It's also important to separate the financial decision making (Reinsdorf) with the basketball decision making (Forman/Paxson). The second two make whatever decisions they can under the framework the first provides.

    At any rate, I think primary problem with desire falls on Reinsdorf. I agree that I don't think he wants to win bad enough to sacrifice any of his profit.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Sorry Doug, not buying your excuses for the Bulls owner or whoever runs the Bulls as an organization. Certain moves could've been made but weren't because of the cheap history of the Bulls owner not wanting to pay the luxury tax. I know its your job to try and keep the fans interest in this team, but when something is as clear as to whats going on with the owners lack of desire to keep this team a contender to win and win big, its time to pull away from the Bulls until someone shows that they're serious about winning again. There are other entertaining teams in the league that are worth watching and aren't operating as a small market team like the Chicago Bulls.

  • I'm glad the bulls pulled out the win. Moving back to the bench didn't seem to affect Belinelli's game, I think for him it was a confidence issue in the beginning of the season. I wish the Bulls would give Taj Gibson a opportunity to start. I understand the Bulls made promises to Boozer when they signed him that he would be the starting pf for this team and he's also getting paid too much to sit on the bench, but it would be nice if we could get Gibson in some kind of rhythm and the best way to do that is to start him. Boozer should take one for the team and come off the bench voluntarily to give Taj a chance to get going. We need him to perform if for nothing else to raise his value as a trade piece.

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