Gameday: Bulls vs Raptors, February 28

Crucial game for tiebreaker purposes down the stretch. The first two contests were split.

Simply put, the Raptors need this one.

Toronto and Chicago face off for the third and final time this regular season. They split a home and home series in November, making tonight’s game the all-important rubber match. The Bulls are currently 1.5 games behind the Raptors for ninth, with Washington sandwiched in between. Toronto begins a five game road trip afterwards, stressing the importance of a win.

Bulls scope (28-33, 11th in East | Offensive rating: 24th | Defensive rating: 5th)

Chicago has had a bizarre, disappointing season but have blown out its last two opponents after the All-Star break. The Bulls own the league’s number one defence since January 1st and have only allowed 82 and 87 points against the Wizards and Nets respectively.

A DeMar DeRozan return is always fun. He has a 7-5 record against Toronto, averaging 22.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.6 assists. The Raptors are also the lone team Deebo has recorded a triple-double against (his first game against Toronto as a Spur in 2019).

Raptors scope (30-32, 9th in East | Offensive rating: 14th | Defensive rating: 16th)

Fred VanVleet is available after missing the last three games for the arrival of his third child. Toronto went 2-1 in his absence but I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.

FVV’s return means we get to see how Nick Nurse deals with a full line-up. Does Gary Trent Jr. come off the bench or is there a surprise in store? Will Jeff Dowtin Jr. continue to get opportunities after impressing in Fred’s absence? The Raptors could go nine deep adding Precious Achiuwa and Chris Boucher. Whether that happens or not is up to Nicky Nurse baby.

Game Info

Tip-Off: 7:30 pm EST | TV: TSN 1/4 | Radio: TSN Radio 1050

Bulls Lineup

Goran Dragic and Javonte Green (knee injuries) are not with the Bulls on their two game road trip. Lonzo Ball (knee) has been shut down for the season. Chicago has been putting 6’5 186 pound Alex Caruso at power forward lately. Wonder if that continues.

PG: Patrick Beverley, Ayo Dosunmu

SG: Zach LaVine, Coby White

SF: DeMar DeRozan, Derrick Jones Jr, Dalen Terry

PF: Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams

C: Nikola Vucevic, Andre Drummond

Raptors Lineup

Fred VanVleet is available to play. Otto Porter Jr. (out for season) is the only player on the injury report. Two way players also available.

PG: Fred VanVleet, Jeff Dowtin Jr, Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton

SG: Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr, Ron Harper Jr.

SF: O.G. Anunoby, Juancho Hernangomez, Joe Wieskamp

PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young

C: Jakob Poeltl, Precious Achiuwa, Christian Koloko

The Line

The Raptors are favoured by 4.5. Over/Under sees a rather low scoring game, at 220.

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