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Wizards head to Chicago for Easter game with Bulls
The Wizards head to Chicago for a Sunday matinee with the Bulls.
United Center | 3:30 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards (42-34): G - Satoransky, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Bulls (25-51): G - Payne, G – Nwaba, F - Holiday, F - Markkanen, C - Lopez
Wizards: John Wall (Rest - Out)
Bulls: Antonio Blakeney (Wrist - Out), Kris Dunn (Toe - Out), Zach LaVine (Knee - Out), Paul Zipser (Foot - Out)
Back-to-Back Afternoon Games
The Wizards will play the rare back-to-back afternoon game set as they prepare for their second straight game to start before 4pm. They won yesterday's afternoon tilt in D.C. over the Hornets, then traveled to Chicago after the game and will play the Bulls at 2:30 p.m. CT today (3:30 p.m. ET).
After missing over two months due to knee surgery, John Wall returned to action yesterday and looked like his normal All-Star self. He finished with 15 points and 14 assists in 33 minutes while helping to lead the Wizards to a 107-93 win over Charlotte. Wall won't play today due to the back-to-back, but head coach Scott Brooks did not rule out Wall for all back-to-backs in this final stretch of the season.
Tomas Satoransky will move back to the starting lineup with Wall out today and Sato scored a career-high 25 points the last time he played in Chicago. He left that game late in the fourth quarter with a concussion after Bobby Portis took him down with a hard foul, a play the Wizards were not happy with.
The Wiz begin a three game road trip today in Chicago, one that will take them to Houston and Cleveland later this week.
The Wizards clinched a playoff berth on Saturday with their win over Charlotte, but their seed likely won't be determined for at least another week. They currently sit in sixth place in the East and hold a one game lead over Milwaukee and a 1.5 game lead over the Heat, who lost last night to Brooklyn. They are three games behind Indiana for the fifth seed, 3.5 games behind the Sixers and four games behind the Cavs, who sit in the third seed and would be the team the Wizards would play in the first round if the season ended today.
The Celtics beat the Raptors yesterday to pull within two games of the top spot in the East. The two teams will meet again on Wednesday which could determine which team claims the number one seed. This could come into play for the Wizards if they were to fall to the seven or eight seed at the end of the year.
Bulls Looking to Future
The Bulls snapped a seven game losing streak on Friday with a win over the Magic, but they are focused on building their team for the future at this point and have to be thinking about the 2018 NBA Draft. Their 2017 first round pick Lauri Markkanen has had a fine rookie season, averaging close to 15 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. Their young backcourt of Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine won't play tonight due to injuries, but they showed some flashes this season that gives Chicago hope for a bright future. Chicago has been a good rebounding team all year and have recorded at least 50 boards in four of their last five games.
The Wizards haven't swept the Bulls in a season series since the 1979-80 season, but with a win tonight they'll have a chance to complete the series sweep.
Up next, the Wizards head to Houston to play the Rockets on Tuesday night (8:00 p.m.).