2014 NBA Playoffs: Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards – Game 3
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
Excitement is building in Washington following the Wizards taking the first two games at the United Center to take a 2-0 series lead in this best of seven. With the series back in Washington, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis implored fans to come out for a “full game of basketball…please.”
Whether the Wiz have a full arena at tip off or not, NBA oddsmakers have given a 2.5 point edge to the Wizards in Game 3 action Friday night.
The Wizards were not an overwhelmingly threatening team at home this season. The Wiz finished 22-19 at home and ranked 18th in attendance. In the four sellout games, however, the Wizards won: two over the Miami Heat, once over the Brooklyn Nets and a victory over the Thunder.
Washington is establishing itself as a tough team to defend in the pick and roll, guided by a hot shooting backcourt. Bradley Beal and John Wall combined to shoot 15-of-35 for 42 points in game two, while Nene contributed another strong game from the 4-spot with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
The Wiz will hope to get more from center Marcin Gortat, who struggled in game two, hitting just 2-of-9 from the floor. Gortat averaged 13.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this season while posting an above-average PER of 17.66. He had been playing well prior to game two, and over his last 10 contests, the Polish Hammer is posting 14.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
The Bulls have found that its lack of offense is likely going to be its demise. Chicago ranked last in the league in scoring this season (93.7 points per game), and it’s been tougher to generate offense in the playoffs. D.J. Augustin is having a phenomenal series, but he’s getting very little help. The 5’10” combo guard had 25 points and seven assists in game two, but the Bulls are getting very little from Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler.
Joakim Noah was selected as 2014 Defensive Player of the Year and he’s been huge in the Bulls success this season, but his big assist numbers have vanished in the playoffs. Noah had just three dimes in game two to go with his 20 points and 12 rebounds.
At the times when the Bulls have most struggled finding good shots this season, it has been Noah that has been making the plays. But Gortat has been frustrating Noah and doing his best to keep the former Florida Gator out of his comfort zones.
CHI Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 when opponent scores 100 points or more in previous game; OVER 6-0 in last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games; UNDER 6-0 in last 6 games on 2 days rest.
WAS Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 overall; OVER 4-0 in last 4 following ATS win; OVER 4-0 in last 4 after scoring 100 points or more in previous game.
Head-to-head: Bulls 2-8 ATS in last 10 meetings; UNDER 17-5-1 in last 23 meetings in Washington; Bulls 6-2 ATS in last 8 meetings in Washington.