Raptors-Bulls Preview

Toronto Raptors Status Check:
Record: 11-22
Division: 4-5
Conference: 8-13
Road Record: 4-12
Last game: Lost 93-79 to the Celtics
Last 10 Games: 3-7
PPG: 100.2 (11th)
Opponents PPG: 104.4 (25th)
Offensive Rating: 105.9 (16th)
Defensive Rating: 110.3 (27th)
Pace: 94.6 (6th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .492 (16th)
Turnover Percentage: .146 (25th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .744 (18th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .296 (4th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .225 (17th)
Opp. eFG%: .526 (28th)
Opp. TO%: .142 (10th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .246 (21st)

Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.

The Raptors are in a funk, having lost 11 of their last 14 games. And their three wins have come against the Pistons (11-23), Nets (9-25) and the Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavericks.

In all fairness, their most recent losses have come while playing without some of their starters. Leading scorer Andrea Bargnani has missed the last four games with a sore left calf. Jerryd Bayless missed Toronto’s last game due to a sprained left ankle. And Sonny Weems has missed the last seven games with back spasms.

That said, Bargnani and Bayless are expected to play against the Bulls tonight. However, Weems is expected to miss the game and starting point guard Jose Calderon is questionable with a sprained ankle.

There’s no question that the Raptors will be better with Bargnani and Bayless in uniform. But in Bargnani’s case, conditioning may be an issue.

Said Toronto coach Jay Triano: “We have to find a way to get (Bargnani’s) rhythm back and get him in. It may be short spurts. He’s tried to maintain his conditioning through this, but it’s nothing compared with games.”

Now, believe it or not, the Raptors have been on a roll against the Bulls in Chicago. The dinosaurs have won five of their last six games in the United Center, including the last three in a row. According to STATS LLC, Toronto has averaged 107.2 PPG while holding Chicago to 93.2 PPG during that stretch. Over the last three of those games, Derrick Rose has scored 13.7 points and shot 42.9 percent.

Of course, the Raptors haven’t played in Chicago since losing Chris Bosh. Or, for that matter, since Carlos Boozer started suiting up for the Bulls. So perhaps only recent history matters. When the Bulls played in Toronto on December 15th, Rose struggled in the scoring department (6 points on 3-for-9 shooting), but he had 11 assists as Chicago shot 53 percent as a team and won 110-93.

However, Bargnani didn’t play in that game. So there’s that.

The key to this game is that the Raptors are a terrible defensive team, one of the worst in the league. As long as they’re patient and execute their offense, the Bulls should be able to get any shot they want. Chicago’s biggest concern should be protecting the offensive glass, since Toronto is ranked fourth in Offensive Rebound Percentage. And the Bulls are ranked only 14th in Defensive Rebound Percentage (.747), making them roughly average. Particularly in Joakim Noah’s absence.

10 Responses to Raptors-Bulls Preview

  1. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitwon4life January 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Tonights game against the raptors should be a good one but not as it should appear to me cause the raptors , have guards that can ply but also we need to blow them out totally to prove a pint not only to us the fans but to themself that they are an elite team yes they had injuries as they do now but that is not an excuse to use via there record being very good, so tonight the main focus should be for them to be dominant on both sides of the ball for the intrie game making sure they leave this team with no hope from the opening tip f the game .Our two guards better step there game up just tired of ppl giving our coach so much praise for something this team itself has already been doing b4 he came here they just have had more time to mature and grow as a team and Tibs fell into it at the right time to come out shinning like new car but he needs to show me more yes he try’s but still for all the hype, he got i just think he aint shown me enough to this point to get all the credit he is getting might want to tone that part of it down ppl, give they players there’s especially the ones that have been here b4 him… Peace oh yea D Rose MVP vote ppl for the allstar he deserves to start even though he will play alot of mins I am sure ……

  2. dunkatron January 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    We will only blow them out if Korver breaks 20 tonight.

  3. contrerasadvocates@yahoo.com'
    Savage January 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    @chitwon4life you are talking about Coach T like he is a inexperienced coach. He is a veteran, he has been a coach in the NBA for over 20 years. He has put in his time in fact most who have worked with him label him as a great coach and a workaholic. To continually express that his presence has not contributed to the success of this team does not make any sense whatsoever. I think in a year or two you will be forced to eat your words as he will likely be considered one of the best coaches in the league. Yes the team has talent as have many of the teams that great coaches have coached in the past. Just because the teams had talent does not mean those coaches were not a great coaches and did not contribute to their teams success. I understand that it is unlikely for you to be convinced to give up your baseless attack on Coach T so this will be the last time I respond on the matter. No ill will just felt like I had to say something.

  4. evansather@gmail.com'
    Evan January 4, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    I have a new favorite picture, which was posted on this article: http://blogs.thescore.com/tbj/2010/12/31/tom-thibodeau-doesnt-care-about-offense/

  5. notsogratfuldead@aol.com'
    Davvvy January 4, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    How are we gonna be able to pull this one out without our most clutch player John Lucas III who just got waived?

  6. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob January 5, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    @Savage, chitown4life makes many good points, but his opinion that the Bulls are playing poor defense and Thibs is not as good as some claim are disconserting. The only team playing better defense than the Bulls are the Celtics who have been using Thibs system for 2-3 years. How good can the Bulls defense get if they are only using this system for 2-3 months?

  7. admin@thebasketbulls.com'
    Chiacgo Bulls rumors January 5, 2011 at 5:28 am #

    Derrick Rose had a decent game, but not his usual self. I think he’s injured a bit, or bruised. The Chicago Bulls schedule is pretty weak right about now except for Boston on Saturday, so the Bulls should whoop these teams.

  8. contrerasadvocates@yahoo.com'
    Savage January 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    @BoppinBob, I agree chitown4life makes many good points on this blog. Different opinions are the spice of life and everybody has a right to see things the way they do. I also agree the Bulls are playing very good defense. In fact I haven’t seen them play so consistently on both ends of the court since the Jordan days. Not to mention they have been without one of their best protectors of the rim in Noah. You make a great point that this unit and coach have only been together for a couple of months, it is pretty amazing to see things come together so quickly. I am just glad to be able to watch and root for a team playing good basketball!


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