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NBA Playoff Betting — Bulls Need to Come to Their Own Defense in Game 2

The Chicago Bulls have become noted for their defense every since coach Tom Thibodeau came aboard. They even have the league’s defensive player of the year. But they are going to have to come up with a better solution if they are going to even up their best-of-seven Eastern Conference playoff series with the Washington Wizards, who were impressive to say the least as they took Game 1 at the United Center.

NBA playoff betting action continues with Game 2, which is tipping off at 9:35 PM ET, and the Bulls have their work cut out for them.

As a team that was seeded fifth in the East, not much was expected from the Wizards by some people, but they gathered themselves after going down by 13 points and went to work, largely with the help of backup point guard Andre Miller, who gave them some high-quality minutes. They also extracted an advantage on the inside, as Nene Hilario and Marcin Gortat got the better of Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Carlos Boozer.

In the NBA playoff betting lines that have been posted on this game by the people at WagerWeb, the Bulls are favored in their quest to get even before they have to travel to the nation’s capital:

Chicago Bulls -5.5
Washington Wizards +5.5

Over 181.5 points -110
Under 181.5 points -110

It was difficult for the Bulls to get some real distribution on the offensive end in Saturday’s game, as they had only thirteen assists. What was underrated about the effort in Game 1 was the potency of the Washington defense, which held Chicago to 42% shooting and kept them relatively silent from the three-point arc as well (they hit 5 for 20).

A couple of other things need to be pointed out for the benefit of WagerWeb customers. For example, it was almost impossible for the Bulls to deal with Nene, who has been a catalyst for the Wizards all season, at least while he’s been healthy, and gutted it out with more minutes than he probably expected to play (he’s coming off an extended absence due to a knee injury).

Also, the Wizards did not get outstanding shooting out of its starting backcourt in Game 1, as John Wall and Bradley Beal combined to go just seven out of 25 from the floor. Yet they won on the road anyway. Sure, they have been a rather profitable team when traveling, with a record of 27-15 against the NBA betting odds. But one would have to wonder whether they just had an off-day with a strong possibility of improving on those numbers, or whether the Bulls have a successful scheme to make them take bad shots. Wall looked a little frustrated in there.

Basketball bettors can assure themselves that when it comes to upsetting Chicago’s efforts to control the pace of this game, Wall is a key figure, because he is about as quick with the ball as anyone. And smallish DJ Augustin may find himself in trouble on the defensive end against any of the Washington’s to three in the guard rotation (that includes veteran backup Andre Miller).

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