Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Wizards 75, Bulls 69
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Washington Wizards eliminated the Chicago Bullswith a 75-69 win in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the United Center on Tuesday night. The Wizards won the series 4-1.
How it happened: John Wall had a big game for the Wizards, going off for 24 points, seven rebounds and four assists as Washington did just enough to knock out a battered Bulls squad. Nene had another productive night for the Wizards, scoring 20 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out four assists. Kirk Hinrich paced the Bulls with 16 points and four assists -- but it wasn't enough, as the Bulls simply lost to a better team.
What it means: The story remains the same for the Bulls year after year: They show plenty of heart and toughness throughout the regular season but, once the playoffs begin, they don't have enough talent to reach their ultimate goal and run out of gas. The Bulls just couldn't score in this series -- or this season, for that matter -- and it continues to be the single biggest issue for this organization. The hope is that Derrick Rose will come back next season and be at full strength. But this team needs more than a healthy Rose to proceed in the playoffs. They need to find scorers who have the ability to create offensively and open space for their teammates. Until the Bulls' front office does that, the end of the playoffs will always look like it did on Tuesday night.
Hits: Playing on a bad leg, Joakim Noah hobbled around the floor and still managed to put up six points, grab 18 rebounds and dish out seven assists.
Misses: D.J. Augustin was just 1-for-10 from the field.
Stat of the night: The Bulls shot 33.3 percent from the field.
What's next: The focus for the Bulls now revolves around Carmelo Anthony. Will they be able to convince him to come to Chicago over the summer?