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The Bulls travel to DC to face the Washington Wizards tonight, the first of a three-game trip.  The Bulls thoroughly demolished the 76ers last night, winning 121-76.  With the big victory, the Bulls were able to rest all five starters in the fourth quarter, leaving them rested for tonight.

 

The Bulls took care of the Wizards at home on November 13th, winning 103-96.  Gilbert Arenas had 30 for the Wizards, but he's in Orlando now, after a recent trade for Rashard Lewis.  Lewis will be making his debut for Washington.  The plan for the 6'10'' forward is to move him around in different spots, between the "three and four," and help spread the floor. 
  The Wizards just snapped a seven-game losing streak last night by beating the Bobcats 108-75.  Before their most recent victory, Washington surrendered 107.4 points per game. 

 

John Wall has been sidelined with a bruised knee for the past four games.  Wall might miss the rest of the games in 2010.  He left early in the first meeting with the Bulls, scoring 16 points and dishing out six assists.  In his absence, Kirk Hinrich will start, and he had 18 points with 11 assists vs. the Bobcats last night.  Hinrich vs. Rose should be a great match-up, with Kirk's ability to defend against Derrick's strength and quickness.

 

The key for the Wizards Nick Young.  Since moving into the starting lineup, Young has scored in bunches, including 22.2 points per game in his last five contests.  Young can beat you from deep, shooting 39% from three.  He doesn't turn the ball over, and his length is a factor on defense.  The guy can really play, and before the Arenas injury, the team wasn't utilizing him like they should.  I really like Nick Young, and wish the Bulls had someone like him.  It'll be up to Brewer, Bogans and Korver to ensure he doesn't get many open looks.

The key for the Bulls is rebounding - can the Bulls keep the athletic bigs of the Wizards off the boards?  Taj Gibson says he's playing tonight, and that will be important to counteract the Wizards athleticism down low from Andray Blache and JaVale McGee.  If Kurt Thomas and Omer Asik stay away from foul trouble, the Bulls should dominate this game on all fronts. 

Probable Bulls Starters | Roster and Statistics

Guard 1 Derrick Rose 6-3 | 190
Guard 6 Keith Bogans 6-5 | 215
Forward 9 Luol Deng 6-9 | 220
Forward 5 Carlos Boozer 6-9 | 266
Center 40 Kurt Thomas 6-9 | 230

Probable Wizards Starters | Roster and Statistics

Guard 12 Kirk Hinrich 6-4 | 190
Guard 1 Nick Young 6-6 | 210
Forward 14 Al Thornton 6-8 | 235
Forward 7 Andray Blatche 6-11 | 260
Center 34 JaVale McGee 7-0 | 252


Projections

ESPN says Bulls by 3, 100-97. 

Spread says Bulls -3 O/U 194.

My projection:  Bulls stay hot, win 107-95