Trans. Apr 20 10:45 ET (Apr 20 10:45 ET ) CHICAGO -- Andre Miller speaks softly, but he was firm in assuring John Wall that he's right behind him. When Miller was acquired in Feb. 20 trade, he told the fourth-year point guard that came to the Wizards to enhance what's already there. The Wizards had cut a 13-point deficit in to 75-72 going into the fourth quarter, and Miller had an answer each down in Game 1 vs the Chicago Bulls. He responded to a bucket by D.J. Augustin and a dunk on a lob by Jimmy Butler with consecutive field goals.
Joakim Noah declined to talk to the assembled media after Sunday mornings shootaround at the United Center, saying, I cant do it, when leaving the floor. The Bulls All-Star center missed Fridays practice after traveling to New York following the death of his mentor and former coach, Tyrone Green. Hes doing as well as can be expected, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. Jimmy Butler was aware of the spate of upsets on the first day of the postseason including division rival Indiana, the Eastern Conferences No. 1 seed, losing at home to Atlanta but isnt concerned that the same fate could befall the Bulls in their series opener Sunday night against Washington at the United Center.
CHICAGO -- The first playoff game for the Wizards in six years takes place Sunday, and just how do they match up with the Chicago Bulls going into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series from United Center? The Wizards have a starting backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal that is more offensively capable than Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler. If Wall makes the right decisions off the help, then it could lead to easy baskets for everyone else.Edge: Wizards Trevor Ariza is past his illness and is hitting his three-point shot again.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix joined Friday's edition of SportsTalk Live to discuss a number of NBA topics, including the Bulls-Wizards matchup, Finals predictions and a guess on where impending free agent Carmelo Anthony may be playing next season. How far the Bulls can advance: "I think the Bulls are the ultimate wildcard out there. I think the evolution of Joakim Noah this yer has made them a little bit more dangerous offensively and certainly Jimmy Butler's development on both sides of the ball is a step in the right direction." Wizards happy to be playing Bulls: "There's a lot of confidence in that Washington locker room about what they can do against the Bulls.
CHARLOTTE Bulls head coach stayed true to his word in the regular-season finale Wednesday night, a 91-86 loss in overtime to the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena. The coach said he wouldnt cut back playing time for his players and he didnt, evidenced by Jimmy Butler playing 47 minutes and 55 seconds in the defeat, one of three players Mike Dunleavy Jr. and All-Star center Joakim Noah were the others to log more than 40 minutes of action. Once you start resting guys, sometimes they get out of rhythm and for us right now, I think our team is well rested, Thibodeau explained. Before the game, [Thibodeau] was like, Be prepared to win.