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updated: 4/18/2014 6:28 PM

Bulls won't be fooled by blowout win at Washington

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  • Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, left, celebrates with center Joakim Noah after scoring a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Chicago on Friday, April 11, 2014. The Bulls won 106-98. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

      Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, left, celebrates with center Joakim Noah after scoring a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Chicago on Friday, April 11, 2014. The Bulls won 106-98. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

 
 

Maybe the first step for the Bulls in playoff preparation is to erase the memory of the last meeting with Washington.

On April 5, the Bulls blitzed the Wizards from the opening tip, opening a 52-26 lead at halftime on the way to an 18-point win at the Verizon Center.

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"That night we were just in a good rhythm," Taj Gibson said Friday at the Berto Center. "They still had guys out, like Nene. But we just tried to focus on playing hard-nosed defense, playing the way we're capable of because we wanted to get ourselves motivated and ready for the playoffs.

"Now that we're seeing this team again, it's going to be a lot different, because every team tends to remember the last game they played, and they always tend to adjust."

Washington got within 11 points twice in the third quarter of that game, so there were challenges for the Bulls. D.J. Augustin had a good night, with 25 points while hitting 6 of 11 shots from 3-point range.

"We beat them twice, they beat us once," Wizards guard John Wall said. "It's a whole new series, zero-zero. So those games don't matter. You just focus on what you did good against those guys and what you did bad and to not do it again."

Wizards with hidden experience:

Many are billing this series as a matchup between one team with playoff experience and the other without. But Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau pointed out there are plenty of veterans on Washington's roster once you look beyond guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Two Wizards starters played in the 2009 NBA Finals. Trevor Ariza started for the Lakers, while Marcin Gortat backed up Dwight Howard for Orlando. Playoff veterans Nene, Andre Miller and Al Harrington come off the bench for Washington.

"The notion that they don't have experience, I don't think that's reality," Thibodeau said. "I think they have a good blend. Their team is very well put together. I think that was one of the big things that helped them, the addition of the veterans they have. Wall and Beal are still young but they've surrounded them with veteran leadership."

Bull horns:

Joakim Noah missed Friday's practice. He was home in New York for bereavement. Coach Tom Thibodeau is hoping Noah is back Saturday. … The Bulls won a coin flip with Toronto for draft position. So the Bulls' own pick will be No. 19 and they'll also get No. 16 from Charlotte in the Tyrus Thomas trade and have their own second-round selection, No. 49 overall.

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