USA TODAY Sports
Among the key games on the NBA schedule on Saturday, the Chicago Bulls will provide a strong challenge to the recent success of the Washington Wizards.
The Bulls continued their ascent among Eastern Conference contenders with an impressive 103-87 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, despite missing All-Star Luol Deng for the fourth consecutive game due to a hamstring injury. Deng mentioned Friday, that with back-to-back games he would target the Bulls' game on Saturday in Washington for his return.
Chicago hardly needs the boost after winning six of their last seven games, but at least Deng won't be feeling the effects of the back-to-back. The Bulls will need to continue bringing their consistent defensive effort to slow down the upstart Wizards.
Washington has won six of their last nine games while riding a big boost from the return of John Wall for the last eight games. Among those six wins, the Wizards took down Oklahoma City and Atlanta at home and then Denver and Portland on the road.
The Wizards continue to monitor Wall's activity as he returns from a major knee injury, but the speed guard's presence has lifted the whole team to bring hope back to what was a dismal start to the season. Wall's return has really given a boost to the league's worst offense as the team has scored in excess of 100 points in four of their six recent wins.
Washington's offensive progress will be put to the test by the Bulls who rank third in defense but have played as well as any team of late while rising to the top of the Central Division standings.
Here's a look at the schedule for Friday, and for even more on the NBA be sure to check out SI.com:
|Chicago Bulls||Washington Wizards|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Toronto Raptors|
|New York Knicks||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Charlotte Bobcats|
|Brooklyn Nets||Houston Rockets|
|Phoenix Suns||San Antonio Spurs|
|Golden State Warriors||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Sacramento Kings||Denver Nuggets|
|Indiana Pacers||Utah Jazz|
|Los Angeles Clippers||Portland Trail Blazers|