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

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

Chicago Bulls

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:
  • It’s just preseason!

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.