SportVU Preview: Chicago Bulls (4) vs Washington Wizards (5)
The Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards square off in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 opening round matchup in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The series tips off with Game 1 on Sunday, Apr. 20 in Chicago (7:00 p.m. ET, TNT). The lower-seeded Wizards won the season series two games to one, although the Bulls do have the most recent victory in their last meeting two weeks ago.
Despite the loss of two All-Stars -- Derrick Rose to injury and Luol Deng to trade -- the Bulls refused to accept the fact that their season was over. When your coach is Tom Thibodeau and your anchor is Joakim Noah that is not going to happen. The remaining Bulls put together a remarkable run in the second half of the season (21-9 since the All-Star break) and challenged for the No. 3 seed in the East.
While the Bulls are making their sixth straight playoff appearance, the Washington Wizards return to the postseason for the first time since 2009. Of course, just making the playoffs is never the ultimate goal. The young Wizards -- led by All-Star point guard John Wall -- are hoping to make some noise.
We take a closer look at some of the key matchups in this series with the help of SportVU player tracking technology. The SportVU data allows us to look at specific player vs. player matchup stats in a variety of categories such as drives, rebounds, the amount of time each defender spent guarding a player and much more. How did Defensive Player of the Year candidate Noah perform against Washington's frontcourt? How does Wall stack up against the point guards from Chicago? Check out the stats below to find the answers.
And for additional statistical analysis on this first round matchup, be sure to check out John Schuhmann's numbers breakdown on NBA.com.
|J. Bulter||T. Ariza||23:41||2||3-15||20%||1-6||17%||1||2-4||10||1||2||9|
|J. Noah||M. Gortat||21:23||6||7-12||58%||0-0||0%||5||4-6||3||1||0||18|
|K. Hinrich||J. Wall||20:13||0||7-13||54%||2-5||40%||3||0-0||9||0||0||16|
|J. Wall||K. Hinrich||18:43||1||6-17||35%||1-4||25%||2||6-6||7||2||0||19|
|B. Beal||J. Butler||15:53||1||2-7||29%||0-1||0%||0||0-0||5||0||0||4|
The Bulls will need to make it a priority to contain John Wall in his first appearance in the playoffs.
|Kirk Hinrich||D.J. Augustin|
While Boozer has had his minutes limited down the stretch to just the first and third quarters, the Bulls will look for him to provide a spark on the offensive end of the floor.
|Nene||Marcin Gortat||Trevor Booker|
The Bulls are one of the best in the business in limiting opponent 3-point attempts and makes in the half-court and it was no different versus the wizards.
|Defender||Trevor Ariza (shooter)||Defender||Bradley Beal (shooter)|
|Jimmy Butler||1-3||Jimmy Butler||0-1|
|Mike Dunleavy||1-3||Tony Snell||1-1|
|Carlos Boozer||0-2||Taj Gibson||1-1|
Noah found defensive success against Nene in the regular season but really struggled to contain Gortat.
|Jimmy Butler||Trevor Ariza||10|
|Kirk Hinrich||John Wall||9|
|John Wall||Kirk Hinrich||7|
|D.J. Augustin||Garrett Temple||5|
|Bradley Beal||Jimmy Butler||5|