[Thanks to wjb1492 for today's game preview. Sign up! -ed.]
Weird to call it # 3, when I don't think there's been a # 1 or # 2 - but preseason game # 3 it is! Tonight, the made-over Washington Wizards visit the made-over Chicago Bulls, in a
fight to the death meaningless preseason game that we will all nonetheless enjoy simply out of our desperation for actual basketball. Each preseason game that passes means the real stuff is that much closer! Plus, this is the first home game of the year.
The obvious angle here is that tonight marks Kirk Hinrich's return to Chicago for the first time after being traded. As a fan of his, obviously I'd love to spend the rest of the preview pointing out what a great training camp Elmer had, and how he's played well in the first two preseason games in spite of playing significant time at small forward. Apparently, the Bulls are not the only team enchanted with the 3-guard lineup. Maybe it's something about Kirk that brings it out in people. Unfortunately for me, the Kirk angle has already been extensively covered by KC, Mike McGraw, John Jackson, Doug Thonus and the obligatory potshots via twitter.
In two games each, the Wiz are 2-0 while the Bulls are 0-2. Both have played Dallas. All this would mean something if the games actually counted, or even if both teams were playing a normal lineup for normal minutes in these games. In spite of the losses, the Bulls' starters have played well - and given that some of the bench depth has been forced into starting due to several injuries that we shall not dwell upon, that's about all you can ask. Thibs hasn't disappointed as a coach yet, and the players who are expected to carry the load look imminently capable of doing so. As far as the Wizards go, Yi Jianlian is finally living up to Option27's expectations. Oh, and there's that John Wall guy. He's fast, but still a rookie.
Really, when you get right down to it, it's pretty nice to have the team at the stage where preseason is pretty much filler and fine-tuning for the regular season. Wins are nice, but the only truly important thing tonight is that no one is injured and the team looks good when the key contributors for the season are on the court together.
7:00 P.M. central; WGN for those luck people who won't instead be receiving The New Adventures of Old Christine on WGN America.