Bulls vs Raptors, 3/24/12, 7 PM CT, WGN America: Game Preview, Rose Still Out

Bulls vs Raptors, 3/24/12, 7 PM CT, WGN America: Game Preview, Rose Still Out
Photo by Mike Cassese (Reuters)

The Bulls will face Toronto Raptors tonight for the second consecutive game, looking for their NBA-high 40th win of the season.

Derrick Rose is still out, but according to Bulls Confidential he has started running in water, which is the first step toward getting back in the lineup.

The Bulls played a pretty pedestrian three quarters Wednesday night in Toronto, thankfully John Lucas III came in to save the day, scoring all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter to lead the 20-0 Bulls run over seven minutes that won the game for them.

Let's hope tonight is a little less of a close game and more of an easy Bulls win. The Raptors are a bad team, and even without Derrick the Bulls should be able to win by double-digits playing at home.

Here are some game notes from NBA.com/stats,  I tried not to repost anything that was already posted on Tuesday. So there's not much here:

Chicago ranks second in the NBA in second- chance points with 15.5 second-chance points per game (Utah ranks first with 16.1 a game).

At Toronto on Wednesday night, John Lucas scored 13 points, all in the fourth quarter. The last Chicago player to score that many points, all in the final quarter, in a win was Jannero Pargo on January 27, 2005. Pargo scored 17 points in the fourth quarter in a 101-93 win over Charlotte (Elias Sports Bureau).

This season, Chicago has won 24 games by 10 or more points, including 11 games by 20 or more points, three games by 30 or more points and one game by 40 points.

As of March 14, the Bulls have grabbed 50 or more rebounds a league-high 16 times (L.A. Lakers are second with nine), including 60 or more boards two times (four teams have done it just once, STATS LLC). Chicago is 15-1 this year when it grabs 50 or more rebounds in a game.

During a season that has seen the Bulls’ opening night starting lineup play together just 10 times thus far, Chicago’s Omer Asik, Carlos Boozer (he is the only Bull to start every game this year), Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver have all proven healthy. To date, they are the only Bulls to appear in every game this season. Asik and Korver also appeared in all 82 games in 2010-11.

Chicago is 7-2 without Luol Deng this season

Chicago is 11-4 without Derrick Rose this season

Chicago is 25-7 without Richard Hamilton this season

Chicago is the only undefeated team in the NBA (18-0) when it scores 100 or more points in a game. The Bulls are also one of two teams (along with Oklahoma City: 9-8) in the NBA that owns a winning record (7-2) when its opponent scores 100 or more points in a contest.

Chicago is allowing 88.5 ppg (second in the NBA). The franchise record for opponent scoring in a season is 89.6 ppg (1997-98).

Through Chicago’s game at Washington on Jan. 30, Joakim Noah had averaged 9.3 rpg (17th in the NBA). Since that time, Noah has averaged 10.9 rpg (272 rebounds in 25 games), and increased his rebounds per game average to 10.1 (eighth).

With a record of 39-10 (.796), the Bulls are on pace to finish with a record of 53-13. During an 82-game regular season, Chicago’s current winning percentage would translate to a record of 65-17.

 

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. He attended Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround, The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters, SportsCenter anchor) . In addition to running Bullsville.net and ChicagoSportsWriters.com, and writing for ChicagoNow and SportsBlog.com, he is also a KHSAA and semi-pro baseball umpire. He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. Follow Don on Twitter @Bullsville.

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