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Ranking offseasons in the East: No. 14, Bulls

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Ranking offseasons in the East: No. 14, Bulls

So what teams in the Eastern Conference did the most to improve for the 2015-16 season? The availability of cap space and the status of retaining one's own free agents factors into what teams are able to do. The countdown starts with teams that did the least to enhance its roster -- and depending on the team that could be a good thing. 

No. 14 Bulls

Last season's record: 50-32: Finish: 3rd in East. Eliminated in second round of playoffs.

Key addition: PF Bobby Portis, taken No. 22 overall in the 2015 draft.

The skinny: They took care of their No. 1 priority, extending SG-SF Jimmy Butler to a five-year deal worth almost $100 million. But with their salary-cap situation, that's the extent of what the Bulls could do outside of retaining their free agents PG Aaron Brooks and SF Mike Dunleavy. They'll be in better position to do more in the summer of 2016. A luxury tax team three years ago, the Bulls will not be a tax team again. 

Projected finish: Like the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were profiled here as doing the least to remake their roster on Monday, this is basically the same team. The Bulls will be a solid team with the likes of C Joakim Noah, PF-C Pau Gasol, PG Derrick Rose and Butler as the core of the offense but they're playing under a first-year NBA coach in Fred Hoiberg. They're expected to be better offensively but health-wise remains a concern. Rose's knees will always be an issue and Gasol, 35, tends to slow in the second half of the season for several years now. If they can maintain a top-four seed, that would be a success. But the guess here is they'll slip to No. 5 barring a breakout rookie campaign from Portis or second-year SF Doug McDermott. 

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Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards head to the West Coast to open a road swing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Wizards (0-2) are looking for their first win when the head into Portland to face Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers (2-0).

After this game, the Wizards have a tough stretch ahead of them before playing in D.C. again, playing at: Golden State, Sacramento, LA (Lakers) and Memphis.

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat, 2018 NBA regular season Game 3
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
When: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Trail Blazers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Trail Blazers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS TV SCHEDULE

8:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

9:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

10:00 PM: Wizards @ Portland Trail Blazers (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard remains day-to-day with a back injury.
Trail Blazers: None

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, Wizards: After becoming the Wizards franchise leader in 3 points on Saturday, it is likely Beal will have a lot to prove to help the team get its first win.

Otto Porter, Jr., Wizards: Porter has had a slow start, so will he take more shots in Portland?

Damian Lillard, Portland: The Blazers' star is leading the way this season averaging 28.5 ppg and 6.5 assists per game. 

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 111 games
Regular Season Record: Blazers lead 57-54
Last Meeting: Wizards won 106-92 in December 2017

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Dwight Howard 'out' for game vs. Trail Blazers, does not travel with team

Dwight Howard 'out' for game vs. Trail Blazers, does not travel with team

Due to an ongoing buttocks injury, Dwight Howard is listed as "out" for the Wizards' Monday night game in Portland against the Trail Blazers. Howard did not travel out west with the team for the five-game trip, according to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller.

The news comes just four days after Wizards head coach Scott Brooks told the media that Howard would "definitely" make the trip. 

The veteran power forward was signed to the Wizards on a two-year free-agent deal in July worth $11 million, but has missed the Wizards' first two games of the regular season and all five of the team's preseason games. 

In Howard's absence, Brooks has turned to Ian Mahinmi, but his foul trouble has proved worrisome for the Wizards' lineup so far.

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