The Bulls 5-game winning streak was snapped by the Wizards on Monday night, as the defense finally let them down a bit. Washington shot 59% in the first half and 52% overall, as they were a step ahead of the Bulls all night.
John Wall was able to lose whoever was guarding him in the halfcourt and especially in transition, and it opened up easy (for him nowadays) midrange looks for him and wide-open threes for his teammates. Trevor Ariza was especially potent going 3-6 from three, and while Bradley Beal only took 2 threes he was 6-12 overall. Even Nene (who returned after one of his usual injuries) had a great night facing the basket, going 5-8 on his one-legged jumpers and tying Wall with 19 points in the game.
Carlos Boozer was 5-9 on jump shots himself for his 19 points, and though the Bulls were behind the entire night I didn't think they played that poorly offensively. I mean, given what they're working with nightly. They shot well from three (9-21), and did very well on the offensive glass (30% ORR) which got them close at times, including a big run to start the second half, but they just couldn't stop Washington on the other end. In fact, that early 3rd run was helped by the Wiz simply blowing a few layups as they were extremely aggressive in the open court tonight.
Tony Snell was a bright spot so that was nice, finishing with 12 points on 5-9 shooting in his 15 minutes of action. He also showed nice hands defensively including a great steal of Wall in the 4th to bring the Bulls within 6. But right afterwards Thibs went with a Augustin/Hinrich/Snell lineup which got promptly creamed, and when the starters were back in the game was effectively over. There was another such occurrence to end the first half when the Wizards opened up that lead to 13 against the two-PG lineup. It wasn't even a case where Washington was playing small, so I don't get the need to force that much Hinrich on us. It wasn't even a quality group in terms of taking care of the ball, as Hinrich's 4 turnovers led the Bulls who had 17 overall.
The Bulls also shot 11-19 from the line which hurt, since though Washington was nearly as bad they had 9 more attempts. 3 of those came on a huge swing to start the 4th quarter, as just after Garrett Temple banked in a half-court shot to end the 3rd he was fouled by Augustin on his next 3-point try and made them all. After that, between Nene's work down low and Wall breezing through his picked man the Bulls just couldn't get close enough.
Unfortunately there was an injury, too: Nazr Mohammed sprained a finger in his first stint and didn't return. He looked to be in a ton of pain, and though the Bulls called his return 'questionable' who the heck knows what that means. I suppose just that it's still attached. Nazr doesn't play much, obviously, but the Bulls have such little room under the luxury tax they may not even be able to sign a replacement body.