So, tough loss last night. But this happened:

That’s not photo-shopped/video-edited. That happened.

Tonight is both a potential bounce-back after a good effort or a complete let-down game, especially since the entire team is “questionable,” including our two point guards (and yes, Lowry’s fourth quarter was awesome – it was the fewest minutes ever for a Raptor scoring 20+ points – but why the hell was he on the floor with two minutes left in a 12-point game if he was so hurt that he might not play tonight?). I’m writing this at 10 a.m. and there aren’t firm injury updates yet, so please update us all in the comments if you come across them.

Chicago Bulls: 21-15, 19th in O-Rtg, 4th in D-Rtg, 24th in Pace
Toronto Raptors: 14-24, 12th in O-Rtg, 26th in D-Rtg, 25th in Pace

Key Match-up: For the love of Shamgod, somebody please contain Joakim Noah (12-10-4 on the year).

The Picks
Vegas: Bulls -4.5
Hollinger: Raptors -2

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. EST on Sportsnet.

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  • mike,prague

    I think we’ll get another dosage of over-biggyness but it should be a fun game to watch!

  • craps4life

    I want to see Blake Murphy’s pick!

    • BlakeMurphy

      Loss. By…8. Team’s tired and banged up…I’d be VERY impressed if they got a win here. Not to be negative.

  • Nilanka15

    I’m guessing that Lowry played late in the 4th because he was begging to, and the coaches conceded.

    • Destro

      He played cuz he was dominating…

  • FAQ

    Air Aaron … idle no more ….!!!!!!

  • Copywryter

    I watched that Gray clip at least seven times. Looks like he was fouled as well.

  • ppellico

    with all the talk from Casey about playing guys according to matchups…tonight I would NOT start Gray.
    Ya…it would mean something for a few minutes as they got rid of him..but against a fleet footed, run around center like Noah…isn’t that EXACTLY the spot for Amir?
    Why would he start Amr against bigger centers and sit Gray but start Gray tonight???
    No…tonight is an Amir custom made set up.

    • The Truth

      Normally I would agree but Amir was clearly playing at 75% at best last night so it’s not as clear cut. One way or another I see Acy or Gray logging some big minutes again.

  • KJ-B

    What I want to see from DeRozan–first off I recognize he’s logged starter’s minutes in every game but still:

    Some imagination…I was yelling at the tv at how either casual he looked (i.e. the lay up miss/alley up layup miss) or how robotic at others–it’s like he was the Tinman that needed oil in his joints–whatever he’s working on in his drills is taking over his brain and when he meets adversity on the court and there’s not a clear path to do what he practiced he passes the ball or misses terribly…

    Honestly, watching the 96′ “Landmark Series” on NBA TV with the Great Michael Jordan, it’s just confounding how much basketball has changed… A lot of great athletes with measurables that create hilights, but not many ball players with good habits/fundamentals that create winning plays.

    Re: DeRozan, for all the Drew League 5-on-5, the thing I see missing in his game is that Dog.   He doesn’t compete well enough and smart enough in one on one situations…Like when he got switched onto Brook Lopez in a set last night he passed because, he couldn’t see the space for a jumper–I mean Lopez who moves like his feet are stuck in cinder bricks???  Damon Stoudemire at 5’10”, also in this “Landmark Series” game could shoot over anyone…DeRozan needs some rawness back in his game, some 1-on-1, three-on-three–he just lacks creativity and vision except when he plays in the post and has his side cleared…

    IT saddens me because Toronto has amazing athletes but they’re not being coached by the assistants etc to become strong basketball thinking-reacting-Players…

    • DumbassKicker

      “but they’re not being coached by the assistants etc to become strong basketball thinking-reacting-Players…”

      What makes you sure the coaches aren’t coaching, vs the players not getting it? You do realize that the players aren’t robots that simply do as programmed, right? You can teach them all you want, but if they don’t execute what their taught, or the opposition has something to say about letting them do what they want (ya think?), it’s not on the coaches.

      • KJ-B

        Who are the great young players that’ve been developed great skills–or a better way to ask, who are the assistant coaches on the staff that are looked at as future Head Coaches??? 

        The Raps have always had a coaching deficiency more or less…it’s Canada, I guess but we typically don’t get the best even though it’s an NBA city. 

  • ibleedpurple

    The way Lowry refused to go away last night was incredibly impressive. I’ve been a stubborn supporter of this young core and letting it grow but i’m starting to see signs that the growth of this young core will have its own set of limitations.

    Something that has really started standing out to me is how limited Derozan is at creating his own shot. With a backcourt combination of Calderon, Derozan and Fields we have a total of zero guys who can break down the defense on their own accord and get to the rim or drive and dish. Lowry is the one Raptor other than Double A’s occasional drive and dish who can come in and break down his man get in the lane dish the ball out or shoot the three.

    I’m tired of this two pointguard bullshit. Trade Calderon, package him with one or two of our wings and get a legitimate/veteran guard who can dribble, shoot and pass. Its pretty idiotic that those three basic skills are so hard to find these days. What the heck do players work on…

  • NeoNazi

    I dislike lowry. sure he is faster than calderon because of his african heritage. but History has shown time and time again the white man will always have the superior intellect.     

    Bargnani also is miles ahead mentally of amir johnson, and Ed davis. Bargnani also looks much healthier. it is clear amir johnson and ed davis have inherited the skinny bag of bones structure from their sickle cell frail ancestors from africa.  

    my dream is the raptors can field an all white team and dominate the league, and show once and for all that WHITE IS RIGHT!!!

    • Ardefen

      is this a joke?

  • KJ-B

    In other news: Jose playing 2NITE like his jersey # is 0 and his last name is Lillard–ohh wait, he’s nowhere near as talented–PASS THE BALL AMIGO!!! Where’s Lowry at???

    • KJ-B

      Calderon guarding Rip Hamilton and getting torched?  A stroke of coaching gen—CASEY must WANT to get the axe!

  • Destro

    Raptors as a team are good enough only to lose these type of games….When the games on the line,they dont get stops,rebounds,make free throws,they bobble game winners…

    Count up all those lil mistakes they made at the end of the 4th and OT
    All of those things synonymous with losing teams…Effort was the reason it went to OT,but they dont have the IQ or fortitude to win these games….

    Again there should be no doubt again that Lowry has got to start…You see now that the competition is getting tougher clearly Lowry is the guy who can make a difference….

  • Aaron8007

    That was certainly a shooting foul.  The refs blew the continuation call.  The rule says if the foul occurs after the man picks up his dribble to go into his layup it is a shooting foul.  Noahs reach was after he picked the ball up.  So how did it not become a shooting foul?   In any other city the refs would be heckled out of the building for screwing the home town.  Not in Toronto.

    • j bean

      I’m so cynical when it comes to fairness by the ref’s. What are they gonna do about the film. Admit that a decisive call was blown again.