John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Lauri Markannen, Kris Dunn, Nikola Mirotic and the Chicago Bulls on New Year's Eve afternoon.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHICAGO BULLS
Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 3:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 2:30 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Searching for consistency
In their last three games, the Wizards have beaten the Celtics and Rockets, teams with two of the top three records in the NBA. They have also lost to the Atlanta Hawks, the worst team in the entire league. It has been an up-and-down stretch and a microcosm of their season so far. They play really well against good teams and sometimes really bad against the bad teams.
The Bulls will give them a chance to rewrite the narrative a bit. Their 13-22 record puts them below .500 and the Wizards are 9-10 against losing teams with the most such losses in the NBA. They beat the Rockets and won in impressive fashion. Can they now take care of business against a lesser team? We shall see.
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Bulls are rising
This isn't your average 13-22 team. After beginning the season 3-20, the Bulls have gone 10-2 in their last 12. It's an incredible turnaround and though they may not even sniff the playoffs, it's a testament to head coach Fred Hoiberg and his team's resolve.
A huge reason for the Bulls' improved play has been the return of forward Nikola Mirotic following the broken bones he suffered in his face in a fight with teammate Bobby Portis. Mirotic has been their leading scorer with 18.1 points per game to go along with 7.3 rebounds. He's shooting an excellent 50.3 percent from the field and 48 percent from three. Since he's returned, the Bulls are fourth in points per game (109.0), ninth in field goal percentage (47.3) and sixth in three-point percentage (38.3). They have also been the NBA's best team at defending the three point line during that stretch.
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The Bulls may fall back down to Earth soon but the future is bright for several of their young players. They have 20-year-old big man Lauri Markannen, the seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft. He is averaging 14.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. They got the pick to take Markannen in their trade with the T'Wolves that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. They also got back 23-year-old point guard Kris Dunn, the fifth pick in the 2016 draft. He's averaging 13.2 points, 5.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Then there's Portis, who at 22 years old is averaging 12.5 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Dunn, though, is dealing with knee tendinitis. He was a late scratch for the Bulls' game on Friday and didn't practice on Saturday. It is uncertain if he wll be available against the Wizards.
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