The Washington Wizards are back in action on Wednesday as the team travels to Chicago to take on the Bulls. After Sunday’s loss to the Utah Jazz, the Wizards are currently at 13-26 on the season.
However, that loss did very little to ruin the positive vibe that has surrounded the team as of late. Bradley Beal made his return on Sunday, scoring 27 points. Thomas Bryant also made his return, scoring 8 points in 15 minutes.
The Wizards were up by double digits at one point, before the Jazz reminded everyone why they are the hottest team in the league right now.
Both Beal and Bryant are expected to play on Wednesday, which is a good sign for a team that has been hit with the injury bug. But even with all the injuries Washington has dealt with, the team is currently 3-4 in the month of January.
The Chicago Bulls currently occupy the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference, with a 14-27 record. However, they have not been playing great basketball as of late.
Chicago started off the new year losing 5 games in a row, before picking up a victory against the Detroit Pistons on January 11. Unfortunately for the Bulls, they dropped their next game to the Boston Celtics on Monday by a score of 113-101.
The Bulls are led by Zach LaVine, who is having an All-Star caliber season. LaVine is currently averaging 24.5 points per game on the season. Back on January 10, LaVine scored 43 points against the Indiana Pacers.
The key to getting out of Chicago with a win will be to slow down Zach LaVine. Washington’s defense from the point guard position has been up and down all year. LaVine is listed as a point guard in Chicago’s lineup, and it will be interesting to see who Coach Brooks decides to put on him.
Bradley Beal has been playing at a high level this season. But when you have a player of Beal’s caliber on your roster, the natural tendency is to sit back and let Beal do his thing. Or in a lot of instances, bring the ball up the court and immediately pass it to Beal hoping he does something.
On some nights, this might work if Beal is on a scoring tear. But on some nights, this will wear him out. A well balanced offensive attack is the best approach moving forward. Allow Beal to do what he does, while still looking to be aggressive when Beal doesn’t have the ball.
Spread: Chicago -4.5
Money lines: Chicago -190; Washington +160
Total: O/U 227.5