There’s no rest for the weary in this shortened season, except in this case the Raptors as just as wary as the Bulls. Both teams are playing their 7th game in nine days. The Chicago Bulls return from Boston while the Toronto Raptors are coming off a loss in which they gave up a 22 point lead.
Unlike the Bulls, the Raptors are struggling to beat anyone, and they’re likely missing Andrea Bargnani for the evening as well.
In a short, slaughter
There are always let down games, there are always hot shooting nights, but this is a game the Bulls should crush the competition. Without Bargnani, the Raptors have precious few threats on offense, and the Bulls should counter the ones they have.
The Raptors defense isn’t likely to make up for their offensive woes any either. Much like the Wizards, the Raptors are a team the Bulls could probably beat without Rose, but presuming his toe didn’t worsen overnight, they’ll have no such worries tonight.
Keys to the game
I could write a bunch of words about How the Raptors have no interior defense to stop Derrick Rose, how they can’t score on the Bulls, how Luol Deng needs to play steady defense against Demarr (their only offensive threat in this game), but it’s empty words.
The Bulls need to do one thing:
Show up and don’t take the game lightly. Teams lose games like this occasionally because it’s so hard to get up for a lousy opponent. The Hawks lost to the Heatles without LeBron and Wade after beating them with LeBron and Wade for that reason.
The Bulls need only remember that the Raptors are a legitimate NBA team with the legitimate NBA talent, and if they walk into the game expecting to just annihilate them without putting forth any effort then they can become one of those casualties.
That said, Thibodeau won’t let that happen, and the Bulls aren’t likely to come out that flat at home.