John Wall and the Washington Wizards found their way to the NBA playoffs, but the Chicago Bulls stand between them and a trip to the conference semifinals. Chicago may not have Derrick Rose, but they have home court advantage and a great chance to advance to face either the Atlanta Hawks or Indiana Pacers.
Chicago has gone another season without Rose and traded Luol Deng but are still one of the most competitive teams in the NBA. Tom Thibodeau once again turned in a great coaching performance that lacks the flash of teams like the Clippers or Warriors but has unmatched grittiness. Joakim Noah completed a superb season, averaging 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.5 blocks.
Washington has relied on Wall and a huge growth spurt from Bradley Beal to help deliver their first playoff berth since 2008, but an off-season move to acquire Marcin Gortat paid off huge. Gortat averaged 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game for Washington and has been a great addition to the team's frontcourt depth.
Chicago is favored to win the series in five games. Here are the full series odds, via Bovada:
|Bulls win in 5||7/2|
|Bulls win in 6||5/1|
|Bulls win in 7||15/4|
|Bulls win in 4||8/1|
|Wizards win in 6||9/2|
|Wizards win in 5||9/1|
|Wizards win in 7||4/3|
|Wizards win in 4||14/1|