Game On: Wizards-Bulls preview

Game On: Wizards-Bulls preview
January 13, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Wittman: Can't play 17 minutes against a good team

On paper, the Bulls look like an ideal matchup but they're on a five-game winning streak and one win from reaching .500 heading into Monday's game. The road has been a sanctuary for the Wizards, who have won six of eight there despite being terrible at home. 

TV: Wizards Central pregame show on CSN at 7:30 p.m. ET; followed by tip-off from United Center at 8 and Wizards Postgame Live immediately afterward. Radio: 1500 AM. 106.7 FM

Last game: Wizards (16-19) lost to the Houston Rockets 114-107 on Saturday; Bulls (17-18) beat the Charlotte Bobcats 103-97 on Saturday.

Last meeting: Chicago won 83-81 on Oct. 12 in a preseason game in Rio de Janeiro. Like this game, that one didn't have Derrick Rose (knee). This one also won't have Luol Deng, a two-time All-Star the Bulls traded last week. 

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Marcin Gortat. Bulls –- PG Kirk Hinrich, SG Tony Snell, SF Mike Dunleavy, PF Carlos Boozer, C Joakim Noah.

RELATED: [Wake-up call: Which Wizards will show up?]

Entry passes: 1). The Bulls find ways to win despite no Rose or Deng because they always have their defense. 2). Score 95 points or more, and the Wizards should win because these Bulls lack scorers. 3). Wall and Beal should dominate backcourt matchup. Should. 4). Gortat's minutes will continue to diminish if his rebounding and hustle plays aren't there. 5). Backup C Kevin Seraphin is coming off his best game of the season (18 points). 

X-factor: Beal and Nene could see their minutes increase as time restrictions may be relaxed starting this week. 

He said it: “Seventeen minutes we laid it on the line.  It takes more than that." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman on losing to Houston, which shot 61.5% in the first half. 

Around the bend: The Wizards return immediately after the game, will either have a light shootaround or be off Tuesday pending Monday's result, and try to get their first win at Verizon Center of 2014 vs. the Miami Heat on Wednesday (CSN, 7).