So this game looks like a lock, except we know there's no such thing as a lock with these Chicago Bulls. As awesome as they looked against a quality Atlanta Hawks team on Monday, it doesn't take a long memory to see how pathetic they looked Saturday against an awful Phoenix team. The Raptors will play without Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas.
What do the Raptors have left? A mishmash of pedestrian players led by Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
The Raptors stink.
The Raptors played last night.
The Bulls are above average.
They have a day of rest.
These four things should add up to a fairly easy win, but Chicago has frequently played down to its competition. The lack of interior defense should allow Chicago to open up their interior passing game to score plenty in the paint. On offense, the Raptors don't feature any players that appear like particularly difficult matchups for Chicago.
If Andrea Bargnani were playing, I'd feel at least a little scared that Carlos Boozer wouldn't bother defending him out to the three point line or that the Bulls would need to pull Noah out of the paint to defend him leaving Carlos Boozer as the lone interior help defender. However, that's not the case, and the Raptors don't really have another big man to stretch the floor and cause this matchup problem.
On paper, this looks like an easy win. Stick to the fundamentals of sharing the ball, rebounding, playing transition defense, and forcing difficult shots and the Raptors should go down quietly. Of course, games aren't played on paper and watching this team over the past four games shows that they're just as likely to lose to a lousy team as to beat a good one.
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