Wizards 102 Bulls 93 Reaction
What happened? The Bulls struggled in their postseason opener. The playoff experience of the veteran Wizard players made up for the the shortcoming of the young back court. Andre Miller, Nene, and Marcin Gortat played well in key stretches to take the Game 1 victory. John Wall and Bradley Beal struggled from the field as the duo combined for 29 points on 7- for-25 shooting from the field.
The Bulls could not get the points towards the end of the game that they needed to keep up. The Bulls were 5-for-20 from 3-point range against the Wizard’s high pressure defense. John Wall’s length made it difficult for the Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin to be efficient from the field. The team struggled as a whole by shooting just 42 percent from the field.
Game changer. Nene dominated the game. He scored 24 points shooting 11-for-17. He also guarded the rim and won the individual matchup with Joakim Noah. Nene was too strong in the post and Noah was often pushed around. Nene also knocked down several mid-range jumpers that spread the Bulls defense.
Turning point. The Bulls extended their halftime lead to 13 points midway through the third quarter, but during a sloppy attempt to play up tempo the Wizards cut the lead to six. From that moment on the Bulls could not get steady offense. In the fourth Miller scored 10 points which was key because it allowed Wall to rest longer in a tight game.
What’s next? Game 2 is Tuesday night at the United Center. A loss will almost certainly mean the series is out of reach.