Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Recap: One Final Trip To The Wiz of Awes Before Chicago!


Now that the season is over after being unceremoniously dumped by the Washington Wizards 75-69. We here at Pippen Ain’t Easy decided to make one last field trip to chew the fat (or crow I picked the Bulls in seven…sort of) about what happened in this series and put a bow on this collaboration of team coverage of this first round matchup. I talked with Ben Mehic, the Editor of the FanSided’s Washington Wizards website, Wiz of Awes to get his perspective on what happened from the other side of the fence.

Pippen Ain’t Easy:

There were two major factors that had a huge impact on the Wizards winning this series. The first one was the absolute domination of Nene over the new Defensive Player of the Year, Joakim Noah. Tell the Pippen Peoples your thoughts on this matchup.

Ben Mehic- Wiz of Awes

Prior to the beginning of this  series, I don’t think any of us expected Nene to play at the high level that he did, especially since he was coming off a two month layoff following a MCL sprain. Nene had played well in the past against Joakim Noah and that continued throughout the series. Both  players are similar, since they are able to facilitate as well as anchor their team defense, so the matchup was certainly intriguing. Nene gave Noah fits with his size, ability to drive and shoot from the perimeter, which is something I’m sure Noah doesn’t have to deal with when matched up against other bigs. Noah was  well deserving of the Defensive Player of the Year award, but Nene was simply a bad matchup for him.

Pippen Ain’t Easy:

The second factor was the coaching impact. Coach Tom Thibodeau finished third in the Coach of the Year balloting this past season. But it was Randy Wittman who coached this series like he was Coach of the Year and not San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. What happened in your opinion?

Ben Mehic- Wiz of Awes:

Well both coaches are similar in what they expect their respective teams to play great defense each and every game. Like Thiibodeau,, Wittman has been a bit stubborn with his rotations throughout the year, but that changed during the playoffs. When Marcin Gortat was struggling, Wittman made adjustments and played Trevor Booker in crunch time instead. When John Wall struggled in Game one, Wittman has the courage to play Andre Miller, despite the possibility of that backfiring. On the flipside, Thibodeau has a very short rotation and likes to play guys like Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah a ridiculous amount of minutes. Chicago was fighting to stay in the game virtually every contest in the series and that takes  a toll on the players. Of course, Wittman has a lot more weapons to work with than Thibodeau, and that played a part in the outcome of the series, but honestly thought Wittman got the edge, which was surprising to say the least.

Pippen Ain’t Easy:

The Washington backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal pretty much did what they were supposed to do and destroyed the trio of Jimmy Butler, Kirk Hinrich and DJ Augustin. Now that they have had their coming out party, can they keep this up for the next five years?

Ben Mehic- Wiz of Awes:

I believe that John Wall and Bradley Beal have the potential to become one of the best backcourts in NBA history. That’s right, I said it. With zero nationally televised games in four years, the public hasn’t been able  to see the progression of John Wall and obviously Bradley Beal, but that changed in the playoffs. National media is finally beginning to hop on the “Dash and Splash, House of Guards” bandwagon and people are realizing how good those two could become. Wall is  23 years old and Beal just turned 20. There’s no reason to believe they won’t keep getting better.

Pippen Ain’t Easy:

Are the Wizards a perennial playoff team going forward or a flash in the pan like the 1997-98 squad with the likes of Juwan Howard, Chris Webber and Rod Strickland?

Ben Mehic- Wiz of Awes:

With Wall and Beal leading the team, I can’t see how the Wizards won’t continue to make the postseason. Like I said, they’re in their early 20′s and they are only going to get better. Advancing to the second round, and possibly even to the Eastern Conference Finals, will be huge for their growth, and not only that, they’re going to be able to attract some high-profile free agents in the near future. Washington is legit.

I would like to thank Ben Mehic for his insight throughout this series albeit a short one for collaborating and providing team coverage for this first round matchup. I would say that the Wizards were lucky just to talk trash but, we all saw Game five.

Tags: Bradley Beal Chicago Bulls Featured Joakim Noah John Wall NBA Playoffs Nene Popular Tom Thibodeau

  • Leroy Boyd

    This was a tough series for the Bulls simply because they were in every game but when you have 5-10 minutes in any quarter that you cant score it does not look good for winning. As much as Nene had Noah’s number this series the Bulls still had opportunities to win all the games they were in. I saw the Bulls inability to score as the one reason they were washed out in this series. Rather than the play of the Wiz. Not only did the lack of scoring hurt the Bulls but the inability of the Bulls to get stops and even rebound at times were just as bad. Many want to say Thibs wore down the starters yea ok who could they have put in Snell was just on the floor, nothing from Nazr, so who could Thibs have used of the bench besides DJ and Thibs that could impacted the game.

    I saw many fans harping about using Jimmer, lol Wall and Beal were killing Jimmy and Kirk and Miller was to big and strong for DJ so what was Jimmer going to do? We know that if Beal and Wall were torching our starters what would Jimmer have done against either on either end.

    Yea I watch the Wiz talk trash good for them but I say trashing talking should occur when you win the title not a first round series. Take Beal and Wall yea i can see them being a force in the league but next season we will see how they respond to the expectations from other teams.

    Wall vs Rose has not ever been good for Wall he has been outscored 25-15 and has never played a game against Rose and won. I expect that Rose will come back next season with a vengeance. Furthermore if talking about expectations of Beal and Wall we have to believe that Butler will come back next season with a better offensive set. I can see this being a want to see series for a few years to come. I dont expect that the Bulls will forget about this azz whipping soon.

    As for Thibs making adjustments I say give him more than 7 players worth playing and I just have to believe he would adjust minutes and players. Well now its all summer speculation mow what will the Bulls do.

  • Leroy Boyd

    Ronald
    Just read the Lakers are asking for permission to interview Thibs, the Bulls may say yes. We know that Thibs has had some issues with Pax and Gar so this might mean Thibs is on the way out if they give permission to the Lakers. I can see the Bulls saying yes and if a deal is made the Bulls are going to ask for this years first and next years first and Nick young.