On Sunday, the epic adventure that is the NBA Playoffs start for the Bulls. After a chaotic start to the season, the team righted the ship and enter the playoffs as one of the hottest teams left. They still struggle offensively, but their defense is in tip-top shape, and with a great defense you can be in any series.
First up for the Bulls are the Washington Wizards. The Wizards are in the playoffs for the first time since 2006. They have a good, young star-in-the-making guard in John Wall. They also have other players young or in their prime like Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza. They like to run and score points in bunches.
This is an interesting matchup. While the Wizards want to score, the Bulls want to stop you from scoring. The Wizards averaged more than 100 points while the Bulls hold their opponents to just 91 points a game.
The Wizards won the season series 2-1, but as the Bulls could certainly attest, the regular season series doesn’t mean much in the playoffs.
The Bulls are a team that wants a grind-it-out type of game. On offense you have to execute with precision to beat them. Since the Wizards are a young team, and since some of their key players are in the playoffs for the first time in their careers, it might be difficult for them to have the patience needed to play the Bulls.
Outside of Joakim Noah, it is difficult to see where the Bulls have an advantage. One key could come off the bench. Taj Gibson is most likely the Sixth Man of the Year and he gives the Bulls a more athletic front line. He can even score more than he could in the past.
The Bulls have made a history of playing over their heads. They were a walking medical unit last season, yet beat the Brooklyn Nets in a game seven in Brooklyn, and took game one from the Heat days later. Their tenacity in unmatched, as they will do anything to get a victory.
One big advantage is coaching. Again, it is experience versus inexperience. When it comes down to Tom Thibodeau vs. Randy Wittman, Thibodeau has a big advantage.
Once the bright lights of the playoffs come on, we have to see how the young Wizards react. Will they come out and go toe-to-toe with the Bulls, or will they just be a just-happy-to-be-here bunch? My take: Bulls in six.