Washington Wizards (8-17) at Chicago Bulls (10-19)
7 P.M., NBCSN Washington
This will be the first match-up this season between the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards. The Bulls have been highly disappointing so far. Many had high expectations for them. But, it wouldn’t be fair to count them out of this game, considering the Wizards have been just as disappointing.
The Bulls are a solid defensive team (9th in DRTG, 105.2), but terrible on the offensive side of the ball (3rd to last in ORTG, 103.3). The Wizards are essentially the opposite (4th in OTRG, 112.8, last in DRTG, 116.7). Will the Wizards finally be able to keep a team under 110 points for just the 3rd time this season?
The Return of Tomas Satoransky
This will be Sato’s first game back in D.C. Unfortunately, Otto Porter Jr. is unable to suit up for this game, due to a small fracture in his foot. This year, Sato has put up typical Wizards Sato numbers – 9/3/5 while shooting 37% from 3. While the Bulls roster has no shortage of guards, Sato has been able to carve out a role for himself on that team alongside Coby White, Kris Dunn, Ryan Arcidiacono, and Denzel Valentine. I’m sure the home crowd will give him a positive reception.
Zach Lavine vs Bradley Beal
Over the past 10 games, Lavine is averaging 25.8/5.2/3.7, while shooting 41.7% from 3 on more than 8 attempts a game. However, this has not exactly translated – the Bulls are 4-6 in those last 10 games. On the other side, Bradley Beal has been struggling, and so have the Wizards – 3-7 in the last 10 games. Over the past 10, Beal has been averaging 26.7/4.9/7.0, on 41.0/35.2/84.1 shooting splits, while also averaging 3.9 turnovers.
Although the points and assists look good, his efficiency over the past 10 (as well as over the the season) has been subpar by his standards. He is also averaging 36.8 minutes a game over that timeframe, so fatigue could potentially be a factor. Beal is currently 2nd in the NBA in minutes per game, behind only James Harden.
Both players have the same trainer (Drew Hanlen), so these players have familiarity with one another’s games. It should be interesting to see if they match up against one another, but I think the Bulls may put Sato on Beal.
Spread: WAS (-1.5)
Moneyline: WAS (-119)