Raptors-Bulls Preview

Toronto Raptors Status Check:
Record: 15-31
Division: 3-7
Conference: 8-22
Home Record: 7-14
Last 10 Games: 4-6
Streak: Lost 2
Last game: 106-87 loss to New York
PPG: 90.9 (27th)
Opponents PPG: 95.0 (12th)
Offensive Rating: 100.1 (28th)
Defensive Rating: 104.7 (16th)
Pace: 89.9 (23rd)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .475 (22nd)
Turnover Percentage: .150 (25th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .753 (3rd)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .248 (23rd)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .214 (11th)
Opp. eFG%: .477 (10th)
Opp. TO%: .131 (22nd)
Opp. FT/FGA: .273 (30th)
Leading scorer: Andrea Bargnani (19.9)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Toronto Injury Report:
None

Overview:
For the third straight game Chicago will get an opponent on the tail end of a back-to-back. The Bulls won the last two match-ups, against Orlando and Philadelphia, who were both coming off games against Miami.

Tonight the first place Bulls travel to Toronto to take on the struggling Raptors. The Raptors have lost five of their last seven, and will be playing with no rest after losing to the Knicks last night. Toronto is 3-11 on the second night of back-to-backs this season, averaging 88.8 points per game.

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 17 points and five rebounds, but the Knicks brought down 16 more rebounds than Toronto in New York’s big victory. Amare Stoudemire had more rebounds (12) than the entire starting line-up for the Raptors (10). Stoudemire also pitched in 22 points to lead the Knicks in scoring.

The Bulls haven’t played since their Monday night win over the Magic, in which John Lucas III reasserted his dominance over every point guard in the league. And the Magic decided that they didn’t feel like scoring that night.

Chicago beat the Raptors the only time these two teams met this season, in a low scoring affair. Toronto shot 34.9 percent from the field and 1-7 from the line to finish with just 64 points. After the Magic scored 59 points the last time the Bulls played, 64 doesn’t sound so bad though.

Chicago wasn’t that much better on the offensive end; they shot just 40.4 percent and finished with 77 points. With all the missed shots from both sides, the rebounds were plentiful. The Bulls won the overall rebounding battle 52-50, but Toronto brought down more offensive rebounds than Chicago (14 to 12).

The Bulls have been winning a lot of their games by destroying the offensive boards, but it won’t be easy tonight. The Raptors are third in defensive rebounding percentage (.753).

The Bulls had Derrick Rose in that first game, but he will probably not play tonight, as he continues to nurse his injured groin. It will be the fourth game in a row that Rose misses.

Chicago and Toronto will play each other again on Saturday. The Bulls have off until that game, while the Raptors will once again be playing on the second night of a back-to-back after previously facing the Knicks.

Trending up: Jerryd Bayless is averaging 20.0 points and 7.2 assists over his last five games. He is averaging 12.0 points and 3.9 assists on the season. The Bulls may luck out, as Bayless left the game against New York with an injury. Bayless was starting for the injured Jose Calderon, who returned to action against the Knicks.

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