2014 NBA Playoffs: Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls – Game 5
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Wizards were without Nene Hilario in game four. Nene had been a force throughout the series for the Wizards, but it didn’t stop Washington from picking up another win to take a 3-1 series lead.
The Wiz defeated Chicago 98-89 on Sunday (Apr 27) night and will be four point underdogs to the Bulls in game five from the United Center in Chicago.
Trevor Ariza had a huge game for the Wizards in game four, scoring 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting (6-of-10 from three-point range), and grabbing eight rebounds. Ariza also had two of Washington’s eight steals in the game. The Wizards forced 16 Chicago turnovers, while committing only eight turnovers of its own.
John Wall had a tough night shooting the ball, connecting on just 4-of-15 from the floor, and Marcin Gortat had difficulty as well (6-of-18), but the Wiz were good from three-point range and knocked down 20-of-25 from the free throw line.
It’s difficult to imagine Chicago coming back to win this series, but it’s also difficult to imagine Tom Thibodeau allowing his squad to simply roll over. The same statement applies to team leader Joakim Noah. Noah had 10 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in game four, but hasn’t been as dominant in this series as he was in the closing month of the season. The Defensive Player of the Year did have a steal and two blocks.
The Bulls received a very strong game from reserve forward Taj Gibson. Gibson scored 32 points on 13-of-16 shooting from the floor and the Bulls were plus-5 with Gibson on the court. Thibodeau may have to consider starting Gibson and just benching the ineffective and nearly invisible Carlos Boozer. Boozer attempted just seven field goals in 24 minutes.
There is also the matter of Mike Dunleavy, who seemingly is either unstoppable or invisible as well. After scoring 35 points in game three, Dunleavy was limited to just eight field goal attempts and six points.
The Bulls have enough players capable of scoring the ball when each is at his best, but the team doesn’t function well and a lot of it is because there is no one on the Bulls capable of drawing a double team.
WAS Trends: OVER 5-0 in last 5 following ATS win; 5-0 ATS in last 5 road games; OVER 5-0 in last 5 games following SU win.
CHI Trends: OVER 6-0 in last 6 games following ATS loss; 0-5 ATS in last 5 games playing on 1 days rest; OVER 8-0 in last 8 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Head-to-head: Wizards 6-0 ATS in last 6 meetings in Chicago; OVER 4-0 in last 4 meetings in Chicago; OVER 4-0 in last 4 meetings.