The Washington Wizards recently shocked everyone by beating the two-time defending champions, the Miami Heat. Against Miami, the Wizards put on an amazing show to win their second game in a row. Washington lost their first three games of 2014, but since then they are 4-2. The Wizards are currently 18-19 and two wins away from being over the .500 mark for the first time since Oct. 31, 2009.
Washington recently beat the Chicago Bulls in Chicago to snap the Bulls’ five-game win streak. Tonight the Wizards face the Bulls at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Just like Washington, Chicago is 18-19, trying to get over .500 and trying to secure a high seed in the Eastern Conference. Currently, Washington is the No. 5 seed and Chicago is the No. 6 seed. This will be a tough matchup and a critical game for both franchises. Consistent offense will play a big role in who will win this game, and here is a look at how the Wizards will beat the Bulls to get back to the .500 mark.
For Washington to get the win they will need to start the game strong. Washington needs to use the momentum of their most recent win against the Heat to capture another win against the Bulls. Slow starts have been a burden for the Wizards this season. It is very important that the Wizards start every quarter strong and remain consistent.
Washington has five losses in 2014, and Bradley Beal has averaged only 12.2 points in those losses. That is five points less than his current season average. During’s Washington’s January wins, Beal averaged 17.5 points. Recently, he has started games strong but dropped his scoring in the third and fourth quarters. According to Vorped, he is shooting 36 percent from the field in the fourth quarter. For Washington to beat the Bulls, it is critical that Beal has four offensively productive quarters of consistent scoring.
Chicago is a very physical team that plays a tough style of defense. For Washington, it is important that they do not lose the game to turnovers. The Wizards are currently averaging 15.1 turnovers per game. To win this game, they will need to keep the turnovers below 10 and avoid high turnover quarters. For example, recently against Miami, the Wizards had nine offensive turnovers during the third quarter. Even though they won, those turnovers blew a giant led and almost cost Washington the game. On offense, Washington needs to avoid making bad passes and avoid making mental errors that will lead to turnovers.
If Washington continues to use their eight-man rotation, the Wizards will need double-double performances from Nene and Marcin Gortat. Their small rotation makes scoring from every player even more critical. Washington will need all players with at least ten points. Tonight, offensive consistency is the weapon that the Wizards must use to beat the Bulls.