The Washington Wizards represent the kind of team the Bulls repeatedly took care of last season. Can they do it again and head into their home opener 2-0?
Chicago Bulls (1-0) at Washington Wizards (1-0) – 6:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV), and 670 The Score (Radio)
1. Ayo Dosunmu
2. Alex Caruso
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Patrick Williams
5. Nikola Vucevic
Injury Report: Lonzo Ball OUT (knee), Zach LaVine OUT (knee injury management)
1. Monte Morris
2. Bradley Beal
3. Deni Avdija
4. Kyle Kuzma
5. Kristaps Prozingis
Injury Report: Deni Avdija QUESTIONABLE (ankle), Vernon Carey Jr. OUT (concussion), Corey Kispert OUT (ankle)
The Bulls walk into tonight as +2.5 underdogs against the Washington Wizards at PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook and the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook. Click on either link to sign up and pick the Bulls to cover (… or pick the opposite …)!
While this is a new-look Wizards team, I don’t hate the idea of taking plus-money on the Chicago Bulls’ moneyline (+114 at FanDuel). I especially don’t hate the idea in a same-game parlay that includes Ayo Dosunmu scoring over 12.5 points ( -112) and Nikola Vucevic dishing more than 2.5 assists (-132).
What to Watch For …
- I know it might only be the second contest of the season, but this sure feels like a trap game for the Bulls. Despiting sweeping the season series against this team last season, the last thing the Bulls want to do is walk into this game thinking they can do it again. The Wizards may still be a beatable team, but this isn’t at all the same roster Chicago saw three times last year. Not only is a healthy Bradley Beal back in the picture – one of the NBA’s elite scorers – but veteran assets like Kristaps Prozingis, Monte Morris, and Will Barton have been added to the mix. There is more than enough experienced talent on this roster to give any sleeping team a hard time.
- I hate to state the obvious here, but Beal is who the Bulls have to worry about most. Single-handedly capable of taking over a game on the offensive end, it will be up to both Ayo Dosunmu and Alex Caruso to ensure he doesn’t get into an early rhythm.
- Will Barton is a guy who might sneak up on this Bulls team. The long-time Denver Nugget is a reliable scorer with a streaky 3-point shot. If the second unit isn’t careful tonight, he could play a pivotal role in keeping this game close. The same can probably be said about youngster Rui Hachimura. While he may not be as consistent as Barton, he’s still an athletic youngster who has a knack for the highlight play. Both could help this Wizards bench pack quite the punch.
- Fortunately, the Bulls’ bench played some of their own impressive basketball in Game 1. Goran Dragic went 4-5 from downtown while Andre Drummond provided some encouragingly physical and energetic minutes at the backup center position. Together the two brought a level of stability we rarely saw from Chicago’s second unit last year.
- More thoughts in here …