Raptors Pesky Defense, Keep Feeding Vooch, Give Chicago A Chance, and Other Bulls Bullets

I can’t wait to sit on my couch and watch football before I sit on my couch and watch basketball.

What a lovely Sunday!

  • The Chicago Bulls will tip off their only preseason game on the road at 5:00 p.m. CT in Toronto. While they were able to take care of a very similar-looking Raptors squad three of the four times they met last season, Toronto ended up stealing the No. 5 seed by the time the playoffs came around. The expectation is that the Raptors will, once again, finish ahead of the Bulls this season, but perhaps tonight can help show us that these two remain closer than some think.
  • If one thing is for sure, the Raptors will have the upper hand defensively. They finished with the league’s 9th-ranked defense last season thanks to their superior length and physicality at the wing. Whether it be Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, or Pascal Siakam, the Raptors have many switchable bodies who can jump passing lanes and disrupt the point of attack. They forced the 2nd-most turnovers per game in the NBA last season and scored the 2nd-most points off those turnovers. They also held opponents to the 7th-fewest point in the paint each night. So, even if this is just another preseason game, it should give the Bulls a decent idea of what they will see on November 6th and 7th when they face Toronto in a back-to-back set.
  • Nikola Vucevic has been off to a hot start, and we have reason to believe that will continue tonight. As good as this team was on the defensive end last year, they didn’t have much of an answer for the Bulls’ big man. Toronto lacked legitimate size at the center position, and the organization failed to fill that hole again this summer. Vucevic scored more total points on Toronto (83) than any other team last season. He shot an impressive 56.3 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from downtown over his four games, averaging 20.8 points and 13.5 rebounds. Keep feeding the big man, Billy!
  • Does Zach LaVine have one big preseason game in him? The max player has been taking a … well … max player approach to the preseason thus fair. He’s scored just a combined 17 points over the two contests, and he focused primarily on setting the table for his teammates in Friday night’s battle with the Nuggets. While I’m not at all worried about his ability to turn it on when the regular season begins, I also wouldn’t mind seeing him chuck up a few more shots over these final two games just to get into a better rhythm.
  • Head coach Billy Donovan said after the Pelicans win that he would expect more Dalen Terry in these final two games. Not only do I think the rookie has earned extra time on the court through his energetic minutes, but it feels like the Bulls need what he brings to the table on both ends. Terry’s length and fearlessness could especially come in handy against a team like the Raptors, while his natural unselfishness and above-average court vision could fit in nicely with the Bulls’ more “random” offensive approach.
  • Some very good points are made by Mark and Will below:
  • I’ve been trying to preach a similar sentiment here on BN Bulls. I totally understand where all the concerns about this team stem from. I’ve also been blunt about the fact that I can see a world where they are falling to the No. 7 or 8 seed. But far too many people only reference the second half of last season when examining this team. There was still a lot of good that came from last year, and there is still All-Star caliber talent on this roster. Let’s at least give them a chance and respect what they accomplished in Year 1 before projecting the worst possible outcome.
  • DeMar DeRozan’s documentary series continues with an emotional episode …
  • I’m sure they’ll turn him into a plus-performing starter somehow.
  • Draymond Green sat down with the media on Saturday to apologize for the incident with Jordan Poole. The veteran forward will apparently step away from the team for several days as the organization continues to work through the issue.
  • ICYMI: I had plenty of thoughts on the Patrick Williams benching. Let’s see if he returns to the starting lineup tonight:
  • BEAT THE VIKINGS!
  • It’s just preseason!
  • written by

    Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

    more bulls news

    You Have to Hear What Anthony Edwards Told a Nuggets Staffer After Game 5 Loss

    Anthony Edwards doesn't drip sweat; he drips confidence. After the Denver Nuggets took the series lead in Game 5, Edwards didn't seem phased. The emerging Minnesota Timberwolves superstar knew his team could take care of business on their home floor,...

    Trying to Stay Relevant, Finding the Right LaVine Trade, Vucevic’s Vertical, and Other Bulls Bullets

    How irrelevant are the Chicago Bulls right now? Take it away, 670 The Score! https://twitter.com/670TheScore/status/1791200934397100092 WOOF. It sure says a lot about your franchise when the radio station that broadcasts your games treats you as an afterthought. Coby White or...

    Can the Sky Find a Bigger Venue in Time for Angel Reese vs. Caitlin Clark?

    The Chicago Sky should take some notes. As the WNBA begins one of its most highly-anticipated seasons in league history, teams are quickly trying to adapt. Emerging superstar Caitlin Clark is expected to pack arenas across the country and shine...

    Could Donovan Mitchell’s Trade Market Indirectly Open Doors for Zach LaVine?

    Before the Chicago Bulls can do anything this offseason, they have to answer one question: What the heck do we do with Zach LaVine!? The LaVine situation boiled over near the beginning of last season. Rumors swirled for quite some...

    Around the NBA: Thunder On The Brink, Cavs Looming Decisions, LA & JJ, More

    We officially have a team in the conference finals! The Boston Celtics eliminated the shorthanded Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals. We also saw the Dallas Mavericks take one step closer to the...

    A Bull on Inside the NBA, DeRozan’s Reliability, Angel Reese’s Debut, and Other Bulls Bullets

    We got our first look at Analyst Alex on Wednesday night! The Chicago Bulls' guard joined the Inside the NBA crew on TNT to talk hoops, and it didn't take long for the NBA veteran to look like a broadcasting...

    Alex Caruso Makes His Inside the NBA Debut … Immediately Cusses

    Inside the NBA welcomed Alex Caruso to their famous Studio J on Wednesday night. The Chicago Bulls' defensive menace joined TNT's normal cast of characters – as well as frequent visitor Draymond Green – ahead of Game 5 between the...

    Which NBA Team Will Have the Most Cap Space in the 2024 Offseason?

    With the Chicago Bulls bounced early from the NBA Playoffs yet again, it's got me thinking about the looming offseason and ever-daunting NBA salary cap. While the playoffs have been really fun thus far, it's hard for me not to...

    Where to Watch Angel Reese and the Chicago Sky Tip Off the Season

    The Chicago Sky are officially back! After two preseason contests, the Sky will tip off the regular season on Wednesday night. The year will begin with two straight battles against the Dallas Wings, a team that finished 22-18 last season...

    It’s Not You, DeMar DeRozan … It’s the Bulls

    I don't need a Porsche. Would I like to have one in my driveway? Sure. But I'd be foolish to funnel my money into such a luxury. Now, might things be different if I was rolling in dough because of...

    Latest News

    Diamondbacks vs. Tigers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, May 18, 2024

    Following a four-hit effort last time out, Colten Keith leads the Detroit Tigers (22-22) into action as +130 underdogs against the Arizona Diamondbacks (21-24). First pitch from Chase Field at 8:10 PM ET on Saturday, live on BSDET.Arizona's Zac Gallen...

    Dodgers vs. Reds Probable Starting Pitchers – May 18

    The Los Angeles Dodgers (30-17) host the Cincinnati Reds (19-26). The game at Dodger Stadium begins at 9:10 PM ET on Saturday.The probable pitchers are Walker Buehler (0-1) for the Dodgers and Graham Ashcraft (3-2) for the Reds.Dodgers vs. Reds...

    Cubs Set a Target Date for Dansby Swanson’s Return, Daniel Palencia Also On His Way

    First, a quick update I kept out of the headline: Nico Hoerner is not in the Cubs lineup today, as he continues to deal with left hamstring tightness. The Cubs have now blown past the maximum IL backdate optimization, which...

    2024 Preakness Stakes Longshots: Just Steel & Seize the Grey Offer Value

    The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, is not just about the favorites. Often, it's the longshots that capture the imagination and offer the best value for bettors. After Muth was forced to scratch after spiking a...

    Diamondbacks vs. Tigers Probable Starting Pitchers – May 18

    The Arizona Diamondbacks (21-24) host the Detroit Tigers (22-22) for a home game at Chase Field on Saturday. First pitch is at 8:10 PM ET.The probable pitchers are Zac Gallen (5-2) for the Diamondbacks and Jack Flaherty (0-3) for the...

    Royals vs. Athletics Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, May 18, 2024

    The Oakland Athletics (19-28) hope to avoid their seventh straight defeat when they visit the Kansas City Royals (27-19) Saturday at 7:10 PM ET on NBCS-CA. The Royals are listed as -188 favorites, while the Athletics are +159 underdogs as...

    Braves vs. Padres Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, May 18, 2024

    The Atlanta Braves (26-15) are favored on the moneyline (-121) in Saturday's contest versus the San Diego Padres (23-24). First pitch is at 7:15 PM ET on FOX. The Padres, with +162 odds, are favored against the spread (1.5).Bryce Elder...

    Red Sox vs. Cardinals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, May 18, 2024

    The Boston Red Sox (22-23) will look to Connor Wong, red hot after a four-hit game, to lead them in a matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals (19-25) on Saturday at 7:15 PM ET on BSMW. The Red Sox are...

    Rangers vs. Angels Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, May 18, 2024

    A pair of surging power hitters meet Saturday when Marcus Semien -- with his two-game homer streak in tow -- and the Texas Rangers (23-23) take on Zachary Neto (home runs in two straight) and the Los Angeles Angels (17-28)....

    Astros vs. Brewers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, May 18, 2024

    Two of the league's top hitters will meet Saturday when the Houston Astros (20-25) and Milwaukee Brewers (26-18) take to the field at 7:10 PM ET, live on BSWI. Jeremy Pena is batting .326 for the Astros (-168 favorites on...

    more bulls news