[Thanks to Torch (Wayne Larrivee reference?) for today's game preview -ed.]
Unlike our moves at the trading deadline that shuffled around some bench pieces, the Wizards are a completely different team than earlier this year - having traded away their three best players (Jamison, Haywood, & Butler) and having two more suspended for the rest of the season (Crittendon & Arenas). Despite the drastic move to completely rebuild the franchise, the Wizards have seen the same kind of post-trade surge that the Bulls have enjoyed, beating Denver in DC and taking Toronto to the wire north of the border.
Newcomers Josh Howard and Al Thorton have fit themselves into Flip Saunders scheme, averaging 19/5/2 and 15/3/1 respectively in the two games since the deadline. Technically Zydrunas Ilgauskas is on the team, but he is working on a buyout so he can resign with a contender later next month.
Despite the boost Washington has received from the influx of new players, this is a game the Bulls should win. The Wizards are a bad team and we are on a nice streak of beating up on bad teams lately. They have no players that scare me on either end of the court and there's no matchup where they are anything more than comparable to what the Bulls can bring to bear.
Game time: 6:00 PM Central
TV Coverage: Comcast SportsNet (Chicago & DC), NBA League Pass
Radio Coverage: ESPN Radio 1000 (Chicago), 106.7 The Fan (DC)
I'll be the maniac sporting the '84 replica Jordan jersey in Section 216 across the court from the Bulls bench. See you for tipoff!