- Brian James
ESPN Insider Brian James provides a scouting report update. To read his previous scouting report on this series, click here.
Keys in Game 5
Wizards: Once the playoffs start, remember that it doesn't matter how they win, how they play, or how they look. Just win. The Wizards' coaches and players were upset after they let a 22-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter. But they still won at the buzzer on Gilbert Arenas's miraculous shot just outside the left elbow over two defenders. As they have in every game this series, the Wizards got off to a good start early. The ball movement and aggressive play at each end of the floor helped propel them to easy scores, something they failed to do later in the game. Washington's balanced scoring inside the paint rocked Chicago back on its heels in their own building. Larry Hughes was the best player on the floor, putting up 33 points and dominating on both sides of the court. Brendan Haywood was dominant inside, making eight of 10 shots in his best performance thus far. Coach Eddie Jordan continues to mix up his defenses between man-to-man and a 2-3 zone.
Bulls: The never-say-die Bulls made another incredible comeback in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 110 with 5.2 seconds remaining. Chicago had outscored the Wizards 48-26 until Arenas's game-winning shot. It's getting to be a broken record. The Bulls were plus-33 points from the 3-point line, making 13 of 23. Kirk Hinrich and Jannero Pargo combined to hit nine of 10 3s. Again, Chicago started out slow, succumbing to Washington's defensive pressure and allowing their big men to punch into open areas for easy scores, early and often.
9dEthan Sherwood Strauss