Five Things to Watch: Bulls battle Wizards tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls battle Wizards tonight on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Washington Wizards tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

1. Michael Carter-Williams. With Jimmy Butler not travelling, Dwyane Wade scheduled to rest and Rajon Rondo benched, the Bulls will likely rely on Carter-Williams against the Wizards. MCW is averaging 7.5 field goal attempts per game this season, but the Bulls may need him to channel his Rookie of the Year self – when he put up 15.1 shots and 16.7 points per game – to get a win.

2. Cool down Bradley Beal. In January, Beal is putting up 25 points per game on 48 percent shooting. With the Bulls’ best defender, Jimmy Butler, out with an illness, team defense on Beal and three-time All-Star John Wall will be key. Slow down the Wizards’ guards and the Bulls have a chance to pick up a shorthanded win.

3. Which bench player steps up? The Bulls’ bench didn’t exactly put together an inspiring performance in Monday’s 109-94 loss to the Thunder. Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic combined on 3-for-10 shooting, 10 points and a rough minus-29. The Bulls are going to need one (maybe both) of those guys to have a monster game tonight.

4. A Rondo return? Fred Hoiberg left the door open after Monday’s loss, saying “we’ll see” if the embattled point guard gets a chance against the Wizards. Rondo has racked up five DNPs in a row, but he could be called upon with two guards sitting. In two games against the Wizards this season, Rondo is averaging 1.5 points per game on 6.3 percent shooting. Ouch.

5. Home-court advantage. The Wizards boast a 14-6 record at the Verizon Center, which is the third highest home winning percentage in the Eastern Conference. Role players tend to play better with a favorable crowd, and that is surely the case for the Wiz. Otto Porter, Trey Burke, Marcus Thornton and Kelly Oubre, Jr. all shoot at least 5 percent higher at home.

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