Read a preview and watch a live stream of the Wizards vs the Bulls.
Where: Game 1 – United Center, Chicago.
When: Monday April 21, 00:00 BST
Watch live: Click here to watch on Bet365!
After another regular season of facing adversity, the Chicago Bulls are back in the playoffs and are ready to overcome the Washington Wizards.
Despite losing Derrick Rose to injury back in November and then Luol Deng in a trade deal earlier this year, the Bulls secured a 48-win season and have home-court advantage in the first round.
With 36 wins since January 1, the Bulls led the Eastern Conference and captured the fourth seed, and now find themselves in a position where they still believe that they can bring a significant amount of success to the city this season.
While they won’t be looking beyond Washington, they will know that the Indiana Pacers are likely to be their second round opponents this year, thus setting up the possibility of a conference finals against the Heat.
However, Wizards point guard John Wall believes that his team will benefit from the combination of youth and experience, and with the general feeling being that they are not capable of taking on Chicago in a playoff series, he insists that Washington can prove the doubters wrong.
The Bulls undoubtedly have more experience but key to their progression will be limiting Wall, and that is easier said than done.
Further, they will need to prove they are capable of not only clamping down defensively, but they have run the risk of struggling offensively throughout the year, and that could be their downfall.
Washington beat the Bulls twice in a five-day span in January, but Chicago claimed victory in their most recent encounter as D.J. Augustin was influential with 25 points as he hit six three-pointers.
The Bulls remain the favourites to prevail, but this match-up could be closer than many experts would suggest if the Wizards can exert some early pressure at the UC.