yfBB already gave a brief intro to the series, and I agree that John Wall has the potential to give the Bulls some real problems. Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster are very capable shooters that can make it rain from outside, and the Wizards have a solid frontcourt with a healthy Nene to go along with Marcin Gortat. Oh, and old friend Drew Gooden has also played relatively well for them.
The Wizards did win the first two matchups of the year, and although those were in mid-January when the Bulls were just starting to turn things around, Chicago really hadn't hit their stride yet. In the most recent contest on April 5, the Bulls went into Washington and annihilated the Wizards, going up by 26 points at half before settling on an 18-point win. It should be noted that Nene wasn't yet back in that one, but winning that easily on the road has me feeling pretty good about the upcoming series.
The Wizards as a team don't have too much playoff experience, but as I'm sure you all recall, there is some somewhat recent postseason history between these two squads. In their first trip to the playoffs as the Wizards in 2004-05, they defeated the Bulls 4-2 after going down 2-0 in the first-round series. It was a pretty fun series, with a lot of Andres Nocioni, some crazy Jannero Pargo moments and this Gilbert Arenas dagger that came after those crazy Pargo moments (I was in attendance):
I think we all know this means Kirk Hinrich will be getting his revenge this series. Initial prediction is Bulls in 6, but I could probably be coaxed into dropping that to 5. Here's the full schedule via Bulls.com (all times CT):
Game 1: Sunday, April 20 at Chicago, 6 p.m., TNT and CSN
Game 2: Tuesday, April 22 at Chicago, 8:30 p.m., TNT and CSN
Game 3: Friday, April 25 at Washington, 7 p.m., ESPN and CSN
Game 4: Sunday, April 27 at Washington, 12 p.m., ABC
Game 5*: Tuesday, April 29 at Chicago, TBD
Game 6*: Thursday, May 1 at Washington, TBD
Game 7*: Saturday, May 3 at Chicago, TBD, TNT and CSN
* if necessary