The visiting Washington Wizards - with new additions Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker - added to Bulls’ home misery last night putting up a huge score to win 134-125. The Bulls are now 5-22 in their home arena this year and have lost their last 10 games there.
They did score 125 points, and outside of three-point shooting (6-24), the Bulls offense actually had a decent night. Four of the five starters scored in double digits, led by 26 from Zach LaVine and 20 from Lauri Markkanen. Wayne Selden had yet another good shooting performance with 17 points off the bench.
But the Bulls terrible defense was the story. They allowed a lot of easy baskets from the Wizards, who had 38 assists on 55 makes, shot 44.4% from three, a TS% of 66.2, and had 70 points in the paint.
Behind the 31 points of Bradley Beal, the Wizards got any shot they wanted and took advantage of matchups they created with some of their lineups.
The sequence begins and instantly there is a mismatch the Wizards can exploit. Markkanen is at the top of the key and faced up against Beal. Jeff Green sees this and moves the ball to Beal. He initially looks like he’s going to go right but quickly crosses over and goes left. Markkanen is caught a bit off guard when Beal goes left and is on his hip as they both enter the paint. Beal finds himself in the lane surrounded by Bulls players. Both Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn drifted into the paint to help stop the drive. LaVine was near the restricted circle by the time that Beal stopped and spotted an open Trevor Ariza in the corner. With LaVine a good couple of steps away, it was an easy catch and shoot for a player who is a career 40.5% shooter from the corner.
Another player who had a good game against the Bulls was the one and only Jabari Parker. In his return to the Windy City, Parker dropped 20 points on 9 of 15 shooting along with 5 rebounds and 6 assists. With most of his shots coming in the paint (dunks), Parker had a really easy time moving against Chicago’s bigs.
Scott Brooks decided to roll out a front court combination of both Parker and Bobby Portis against the duo of Markkand and Lopez. Washington took advantage of having two bigs who can play outside the paint and it led to some easy baskets for Parker.
First the Wizards had Portis involved in a PNR with Beal, which forced LaVine and Markkanen double the guard off the switch. Portis slipped to barely inside the three-point line after the pick and with his man nowhere near, he was wide open when Beal passed him the ball. Now the matchup to watch was Lopez guarding Parker. Given Lopez’s limited mobility outside the paint, it was wise of Parker to stay as far away from the basket as possible. As you can see in the video Lopez was already tentative about venturing out that far to the corner. So when Portis gets the ball, you can see Lopez begin to shuffle towards the paint. Portis quickly swings it to Parker, who is already on the move. Parker grabs the ball as he’s going down the baseline goes right by Lopez, who can’t turn around in time to get in front of him. Dunn was also playing safety on that play as well but with his eyes fixated on Portis, he arrives to the restricted circle as Parker is in the air. There’s nothing Dunn can do but watch as Parker slams the ball into the cylinder.
It’s unique to see a revenge game so early from the trade deadline but Parker and Portis, who recorded a double double, got the better of their former team in this one.