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Washington Wizards 86, Chicago Bulls 73: Capital Punishment

January 27th, 2013 at 3:04 PM
By Caleb Nordgren

It's official. It took me three months, but I finally figured out this team.

On Friday, facing a quality team at home, where they've struggled, it made sense for the Chicago Bulls to roll over and get blown out, or perhaps to fight it out in a close game. What did not make sense was for them to blow the Golden State Warriors out, but that's exactly what they did.

Similarly, facing a not-great — but much improved since John Wall's return — Washington Wizards squad on the road, where they've had success this year, it made sense for the Bulls to fight one out on the second night of a back-to-back. Instead, they got blown out, with a 13-point final margin really not conveying the scope of the loss.

As they tend to do, the Bulls played down to their competition. They came out flat, they shot terribly, they turned the ball over, they even got out-rebounded. Carlos Boozer was awful. Marco Belinelli was bad. Nate Robinson was the only Bull who showed any real inclination to be aggressive, but he finished 8/19 from the field and turned the ball over 4 times. Joakim Noah was really the only bright spot, notching a rebounds-assists double-double and finishing just a point shy of his third career triple-double.

Chicago didn't really do anything in particular wrong, per se, as much as they simply did nothing right. Their offense looked much as it always does, the shots just didn't go down. The defense was solid, mostly, holding Washington to 43 percent shooting, but they couldn't get stops in the fourth quarter, even when they finally started getting back into the game.

The good news? The Bulls get the Charlotte Bobcats tomorrow in what should be an excellent chance to bounce back. Then again, since this team can be counted on to do the least logical thing in any given situation, they'll probably lose.

Sigh.

Player o' the Game: Joakim Noah (9 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 blocks)

It's games like this one where you wish Noah would be more aggressive. He took just five shots all game, and seemed generally less energized than usual. But 17 rebounds and 10 assists is nothing to sneeze at, and he was their best player by far.

Tags: Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Joakim Noah, John Wall, NBA, Washington Wizards

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