All things considered, the Chicago Bulls have put together quite a strong week. They won their first back-to-back set of the season, which included a primetime victory over Kevin Durant on national television. Then, despite a loss on Friday, they looked the part against the reigning Eastern Conference champions on ESPN.
The question now is whether or not these past three games can be a sign of what’s to come. The Bulls will play the Raptors twice over the next two days, and this is a team they will surely have to prove they can take care of to be a real threat down the road.
Chicago Bulls (5-5) at Toronto Raptors (5-4) – 5:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago, and 670 The Score (Radio)
1. Ayo Dosunmu
2. Alex Caruso
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Patrick Williams
5. Nikola Vucevic
Injury Report: Lonzo Ball OUT (knee), Zach LaVine OUT (injury management), Andre Drummond OUT (shoulder), Coby White OUT (quad)
1. Fred VanVleet
2. Gary Trent Jr.
3. OG Anunoby
4. Scottie Barnes
5. Precious Achiuwa
Injury Report: Pascal Siakam OUT (adductor), Khem Birch QUESTIONABLE (knee), Fred VanVleet QUESTIONABLE (Back)
The Bulls walk into tonight as +2.5 underdogs against the Raptors at PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook and at the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook. Click on either link to sign up and pick the Bulls to cover (… or pick the opposite …)!
What to Watch For …
- The Raptors’ offense has been a roll. Over the last three games, the team has averaged roughly 130 points and has shot the 4th-best clip in the league. They have also taken the third-most free-throw attempts per game. With no Siakam in the starting lineup, it’s quite possible that we see them fall out of rhythm, but the Bulls’ defense still must be on high alert.
- The Bulls will not be able to depend on turnovers to get out and run. Toronto is one of the most disciplined teams in the league and currently averages the fewest TOVs per game. Conversely, on the opposite side of the ball, they average a league-high 10.7 steals a night, which has helped lead to an NBA-best 24.4 fastbreak points per game.
- With no Zach LaVine tonight, the Bulls are going to need someone to step up. I can only hope that player is Patrick Williams, who despite some late-game blunders on Friday, has played like a rejuvenated player over the last few games.
- More in here …