Wizards stymied in second half, dropped by Bulls

Photo courtesy of
‘Nick Young’
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

The Wizards looked good in the first quarter.

That was about it.

The Bulls blew in to Verizon Center on Wednesday and stole the wand from the Wizards en route to a 87-80 victory behind solid performances from Carlos Boozer  who had 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Derrick Rose was also able to do some damage to the Wizards backcourt  to the tune of 25 points, five rebounds and five assists.

“You can see what great instincts he has to score 30 points, every night he knows how to find seams around the basket. The way he is rebounding the ball is a testament to his ability,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.

The Rashard Lewis era did not have a great opening in Washington. The man acquired from the Magic for Gilbert Arenas spent most of his night on the bench after picking up three personal fouls in limited first-half action and ended the night with eight points and 5 fouls with three rebounds and an assist in 22:29.

Nick Young had 10 first-quarter points for the Wizards but was stymied by the Bulls and their defensive-minded head coach Tom Thibodeau the rest of then night, ending up with 22 points. It was much the same with the rest of the Wizards who were able to score 33 points in the first quarter but were held to only 50 for the rest of the game with only 30 of those coming in the second half.

Boozer frustrated the Wizards big men, especially Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee who combined for six fouls and six points on (3 for 17 shooting. Oh, and Blatche had all the points meaning that McGee laid a goose egg against Chicago in 28:45 of floor time. When it comes to controlling burly power forwards, the Wizards do not have the man power.

“The one thing about Carlos, if you cut and you are open, he is going to pass it to you. He has great vision. We think we can play through him a little bit, which we have done and get  a lot of high quality shots through that,” Thibodeau said.

As the game slipped away from them in the second half, the Wizards got a little feisty, receiving two technical fouls, failing to rebound and missing shots. Blatche had a particularly rough night. He stole the ball in the first period and went on a fast break but botched the layup, letting it slip out of his hands in an awkward shot. From then on, he was dust.

“I would hope as a professional that missing a layup in the first two minutes doesn’t ruin you for the next 46,” Wizards coach Flip Saunders said. “Part of development sometimes is getting your butt kicked. You can sometimes learn as much then as you can when you play good. I’ve got confidence in him that no matter how bad he has played you get down the stretch and I feel that he is going to be able to make a couple plays for us.”

Heading into the final minute the Wizards were only down three points, 83-80, and one bucket would have erased the frustrations the Bulls gave Washington for the final 36 minutes of the game. But no Wizard could get a shot down and the clock fizzled away as Chicago sealed it at the foul line.

Notes: John Wall was out again for the Wizards with right knee tendonitis, missing a battle of No. 1 overall point guard picks.

Dan Rowinski

New England raised, transplanted in Virginia. Sports writer who has spent several seasons on the NHL beat covering the Boston Bruins along with stints writing about Boston College, Red Sox, Capitals and Nationals. Has worked for the New England Hockey Journal, WEEI.com, Fire Brand Of The American League, TBD.com among others. Also a technophile covering technology for ReadWriteWeb. Follow Dan on Twitter @Dan_Rowinski or email him at dan (at) welovedc.com.

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