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Bulls Run Into a Wall in Washington

In a crucial game for the East's final playoff spot, the Bulls failed to show up.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Can this season just end already? Because apparently the Bulls have little to no interest at this point as shown in Wednesday night's stinker in Washington, falling to the Wizards 117-96. As the Bulls continue to "fight" for the last spot in the East playoff race, a win would've given Chicago the tiebreaker over Washington, who now with the win, only sit 1.5 games back. To make things even better, the Bulls lost ANOTHER player, shocking, in Taj Gibson who left after the first half with a hamstring injury he's been dealing for some time now.

Right from the tip, the Bulls came out flat with hardly any energy. Drink if you've heard that line before. In his first game back after missing two straight, Derrick Rose scored the Bulls first six points, and looked somewhat spritely, moving well on that previously strained groin. However, Washington was punishing Chicago, continuously beating them down the floor for open looks or by getting to the free throw line. A 10-0 run put the Wizards up 14, 30-16 near the 3:08 mark. Although five quick points from Doug McDermott sparked a 9-2 run to end the quarter to bring the Bulls within seven, 32-25.

The Bulls run continued into the second period, as McDermott went 3-3 from the field, 2-2 from deep for 13 quick points in 12 minutes of action. As Rose came back into the game, he helped push the Bulls run to 27-8, to give Chicago a brief lead at 43-38. That was short-lived as Washington started attacking in transition once again, and John Wall picked apart the Bulls poor, non-existent defense in transition, in the pick-and-roll, getting anything he could. Washington responded to Chicago's run with their very own, going on a 25-9 run to end the half to take a 63-52 lead. Entering the half, Rose was 6-11 for 14 points, McDermott was 3-4 for 13 points, however Jimmy Butler was a mere 1-5, 3-5 from the line for only five points. Butler was especially tough to watch on offense, as he couldn't get anything going, and as a result the team's offense suffered.

Taj Gibson sat out the second half after leaving with two minutes left in the first with hamstring issues, which isn't surprising considering his recent comments regarding it. Nevertheless, Washington jumped out to an 8-2 run, with the Bulls offense plummeting as the defense continued to falter. Although Butler did score 10 points in the quarter, mostly from the line, the Wizards pushed their lead to 18 entering the final period. Rose didn't score a point in the period, and McDermott didn't even attempt a shot (granted there was hardly any initiative to get him the ball).

The final period was much of the same, though the Bulls did manage to climb back into the game to cut the lead to 12 thanks to McDermott. Wall kept attacking the Bulls, and was sensational tonight, tallying his sixth career triple-double. Chicago had no answer for him, as he punished every, little mistake the Bulls made on the defensive end. Which eventually led to the doors being blown wide open and sending the Bulls to the DC Metro.

For a team that's supposed to be "fighting" for the last spot in the East, to potentially make some noise come playoff time, they looked like a group already preparing for their summer vacations.