Ariza, whose résumé includes helping the Los Angeles Lakers win a championship in 2009, was scary efficient with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. And Gortat, who was playing in his 48th playoff game, had 15 points and 13 rebounds and along with Nene's return to the starting lineup gave the Wizards a pretty formidable inside tag team.
So much for the Wizards being inexperienced in the context of the NBA playoffs.
So much for the Bulls being 29-6 in Game 1s at home. And so much for the Bulls not having lost back-to-back games since Feb. 1 and 3.
One clunker can rearrange the basketball universe, and the Bulls have precious little time to figure out how to fix all that ailed them Sunday by Tuesday.
Before Game 1, Wittman was asked whether he felt like his team was the underdog and Wittman answered in a very definitive tone, "No." He went on to say of his team, "They're ready. They're ready. This is something we've talked about all year, this day."