Pre-Gamin’: Wizards at Bulls — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Remember the last time these two played?

Yeah, duh. 

No?

I said, yes.

Shut up, I’m just looking for an excuse to share this!

Game Info

Washington Wizards (19-19) at Chicago Bulls (25-10) – 7:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV), and 670 The Score (Radio)

Stream the game online here with your cable provider.

Projected Starters

Chicago Bulls

1. Lonzo Ball
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Derrick Jones Jr.
5. Nikola Vucevic

Injury Report: Patrick Williams OUT (Wrist), Alex Caruso OUT (Foot), Javonte Green OUT (groin), Tyler Cook (ankle)

Washington Wizards

1. Spencer Dinwiddie
2. Bradley Beal
3. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
4. Kyle Kuzma
5. Daniel Gafford

Injury Report: Montrezl Harrell QUESTIONABLE (protocols), Davis Bertans DOUBTFUL (foot), Thomas Bryant OUT (knee), Rui Hachimura OUT (conditioning), Brad Wanamaker OUT (protocols), Anthony Gill OUT (protocols), Tremont Waters OUT (protocols), Cassius Winston OUT (protocols)

What to Watch For …

•   The Chicago Bulls will see a slightly more complete Washington Wizards team at the United Center tonight. Unlike in their first meeting on New Years Day, point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is expected to rejoin the starting lineup. Dinwiddie has missed four-straight games due to Health and Safety Protocols, and he’s averaged 13.1 points, 5.6 assists, and 5.0 rebounds in his 29 games so far this season. Dinwiddie has yet to be what this Washington team hoped for after they signed him this offseason, but he’s still a crafty veteran who can help facilitate and work his way into the paint. Speaking of which …

•   The Bulls were decimated in the paint last Saturday, allowing the Wizards to outscore them 72-30 inside! While the addition of Lonzo Ball should help cut off some driving lanes, the Bulls simply need a better defensive showing upfront. Former Bull Daniel Gafford dropped 19 points on a 9-10 showing from the field while Kyle Kuzma made 10 of his 12 shots within 11 feet of the basket. Let’s hope the return of big man Tony Bradley can elevate the Bulls’ rim protection this time around. Perhaps we can see even more minutes from Derrick Jones Jr., as well (28mins in game one).

•   Kuzma dropped 29 points the first time these two played, and he would have had the game-winner if it wasn’t for DeRozan’s historic buzzer-beater. The former Laker has been on an absolute tear recently, averaging 27.2 points and 10.4 rebounds on a 53.0 percent shooting clip from the field over the last five games. One has to imagine he will come back down to earth soon, but the Bulls can’t assume that happens tonight. A much more concerted effort must be made to keep Kuzma out of the paint and out of rhythm.

•   Can Zach LaVine keep dominating from behind the arc?

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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