The series is all but over. The Bulls head to D.C., down 0-2 to a relentless Wizards team that again outplayed Chicago.
The Bulls began the game in a hole as Washington rushed out to a 26-12 lead. They lead by as many as 17 pts, but the Bulls managed to claw their way back and even gained the lead in the 3rd and hung on for a while in the 4th (largest lead 10 pts). The Wizards tied the game at 91 at the end of regulation and sent the game to OT. The Bulls could have rallied for a 2nd OT, but Kirk missed two critical FT’s with 0:02 left with the Wiz up 101-99.
The Bulls may win a game for pride’s sake, but I think unless there is a major strategic change made by the coaching staff, they are clearly overmatched offensively. That being said, both of these games were still winnable by Chicago. I never thought I’d say it, but Randy Whitmann vs. Thibs is the main matchup (aside from Nene’s effectiveness with no minutes restriction) that I miscalculated. I can understand Tom “dancing with the one that brought ya”, but to over-utilize players like this (especially Jimmy Butler) in the SAME manner that he did last season in that 2nd round matchup with the Heat is pretty ridiculous. At this point, he’s planning to use a player for the entire game and its unnecessary. Especially with a competent bench like Chicago. They are good enough to allow guys to catch their breath for a few tiny minutes, I mean c’mon.
On to the next game. Bulls tip off in Washington on Friday evening at 7:00P.M.