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Bulls vs. Wizards game preview and thread: finally back home

and against a cruddy opponent

Charlotte Hornets v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Much has been made of the Bulls stalled start to this season, from discussions of this being proof the team is going nowhere to then the reflex of trying to provide context that would suggest improvement.

A lot of that surrounds the strength of schedule. The Bulls hit a significant demarcation point of the schedule that was hard and likely lightens up. I mean, getting the Kings on a back-to-back shouldn’t have been that difficult, but it was also the Bulls 6th straight road game.

(I also see mentions of their point differential, and poor record in clutch situations. Could be luck, but then I can counter with the theory that the Bulls are ‘performing well’ when they’ve already been put down big in games and the opponent lets up a bit. Plus, perhaps the lack of clutch success is not all luck, and partially due to having to work so hard to reduce early deficits?)

No such excuses this time. Plenty of rest (Bulls haven’t played since Sunday afternoon), back home in Chicago, and playing the Wizards.

The Wiz actually have a better record than the Bulls this year, but that isn’t saying much and they’re firmly in that non-Bucks-or-Celtics group of the Eastern Conference that’s putting the ‘ass’ in morass. Washington is 11-13, below average at both offense and defense with a -1.6 net rating, and have lost 6 of their last 7.

They’ll also be without Bradley Beal, though this season (and during long stretches the last few seasons) they have a better net rating with Beal off the court.

If the Bulls are looking to quiet noise about their long-term prospects being so dire, they need to win this game.

Injury Report:

Beyond Beal, Wiz also without rotation players Rui Hachimura and Delon Wright.

For the Bulls, Javonte Green missed last game and is doubtful for this one. Alex Caruso is listed as questionable but that is just so we can all pretend to be surprised when he plays.

GameTime: 7pm central, NBC Sports Chicago