The Wizards -- losers of five straight -- are still winless since the All-Star break. It hasn’t helped that the three teams they’ve played would all be playoff-bound if the current standings hold. Tonight, the Chicago Bulls make it number four in a row, so no favors from the schedule.
That’s not to say the Wizards haven’t competed. Washington matched the Heat through three quarters in Miami on Friday, and almost knocked off Western Conference power Dallas at the Verizon Center on Saturday
"This team (Washington) is athletic, and they’re competing hard," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said following his teams 105-99 win. "They play their best basketball against the better teams. We knew it would be dog fight."
The Wizards will need to bring their best Monday night with MVP candidate Derrick Rose leading the Bulls into town. Rose’s presence should make for a don’t-blink matchup opposite John Wall as the pair of No. 1 overall draft picks square off.
Wall has been on a tear of late, scoring 20+ points in each of his last three. On Saturday, he had eight of his 24 points in the final three minutes as the Wizards closed a 9-point deficit in the final four minutes only to fall in the end.
Here's a comparison between Rose and Wall as rookies via Basketball Reference. Of course, Wall's season is still a work in progress. (Click to enlarge.)