By: Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards wrap up their 2012-13 campaign tonight in Chicago when they take on the Bulls at United Center (8:00 pm | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM). The Wizards lead the season series, 2-1.
The Wizards will look to snap their current five game losing streak and end the year with some positive momentum heading into the off-season. The Bulls are still fighting for seeding in the Eastern Conference as they enter tonight's game tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the 5 seed. The Bulls do have the tie-breaker, so they would need to lose tonight and have the Hawks win in New York to slip down to the 6 seed and play the Pacers in the first round. If either the Bulls win or the Hawks lose, the Bulls will end as the 5 seed and play the Brooklyn Nets in the first round.
While the Nets rested all of their starters on Monday night, the Bulls may elect to play most of their main guys as they still have something to play for.
Although he still may return for the playoffs, Derrick Rose has missed the entire 2012-13 season which makes it even more impressive that the Bulls are where they are in the standings. Rose is Chicago's leader and best player, but without him former Wizard Kirk Hinrich has filled in doing a nice job in the point guard position. Besides Rose, the Bulls have other key weapons banged up as Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are questionable tonight with various injuries.
The Wizards have already beaten these Bulls twice this season, both of the wins coming at Verizon Center. They have a chance to win the season series against a very formidable Bulls team and have a chance to grab their first road win since they beat the Lakers back on March 22nd. They have lost seven straight road games since that night in L.A. They will have to do so with many of their key guys banged up, as Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Nene, and Trevor Ariza will all miss the final game with injuries.
In their last time out vs. Brooklyn, they built up a 17 point lead in the first half, but let it slip away in the fourth quarter and fell 106-101. John Wall led the team with 18 points and 12 assists and they got a season-high 16 points and 13 boards from Trevor Booker. The Wiz will rely again on the young guys tonight, as Booker, Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely, and Chris Singleton will look to close out the year on a high note and lead the Wizards to their 30th win of the season.
The action kicks off at 8:00pm.
John Wall is averaging 21.0 points, 8.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds in two games versus the Bulls this season. He is also 2-0 against them, but this will be the first time he gets to play them in Chicago, where the Bulls are 17-8 against Eastern Conference opponents. Wall will look to put a bow on an outstanding stretch of games and look to lead the Wizards to a 30 win season.
The Bulls are 37-22 in games where Hinrich has started and he is a guy that can make an impact on the game without filling up the stat sheet. He has shot the ball well of late, hitting seven three pointers in his last two games and the Wizards will need to keep a close eye on him when he's around the perimeter.
In the below clip, Wall drives in the gets the hoop and the harm.