It’s a dream start to the Darko era for the Raptors as they’ll look to take their first win streak of the season against the Bulls. Meanwhile, Chicago will look to take their first win of the season after coming off a defeat against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
Raptors will look to avenge their horrific play-in meltdown last season against Chicago as it has to be fresh in their minds. However, this is not the same Raptors team in the play-in, as Fred VanVleet is gone and there is a fresh basketball philosophy in Toronto now. Meanwhile, for Chicago, it’s more or less the same.
Uhh, a players-only meeting after Game 1? That has to be a record. The Bulls are in free-fall, with fingers pointed, and only one game in the books. Wild stuff.
On the court, the Bulls will rely heavily on their big three of Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine who all looked rusty on Tuesday night. The Raptors have to be expecting a much sharper Chicago team in this contest. The two new acquisitions for Chicago played against the Thunder with Torrey Craig making the bigger impact over Jevon Carter as he finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Chicago shot the three ball very poorly against OKC as they were only able to hit on 28% of their attempts but with their shooters, it’s likely that it will be a better showing for them in this one.
It’s only been one game but the vibes just seem different with this team. Toronto looked good in their opener as the starting five stayed consistent with the pre-season lineups. New acquisition Dennis Schroder was amazing for Toronto as he led the team in scoring with 22 points as well as assists with 7. The Raptors were able to shoot 40% from three as that was a big weakness during last season, but it looks fixed, at least for one game. Toronto has to do a better job at the line though as they only shot 68% and that was a big downfall in the previous showdown against the Bulls. The defence also looked great as they were able to hold Minnesota to 34% from the field and 25% beyond the arc.
Tip-Off: 8:00 PM EST | TV: TSN4,5 | Radio: TSN Radio 1050
Christian Koloko is out with an illness again.
PG: Dennis Schroder, Malachi Flynn, Markquis Nowell,
SG: O.G. Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., Gradey Dick, Javon Freeman-Liberty
SF: Scottie Barnes, Jalen McDaniels, Otto Porter Jr., Garrett Temple, Ron Harper Jr.
PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young
C: Jakob Poeltl, Precious Achiuwa
Lonzo Ball is out for the season with a knee injury.
PG: Coby White, Jevon Carter, Ayo Dosunmu
SG: Zach LaVine, Alex Caruso, Onuralp Bitim
SF: DeMar DeRozan, Torrey Craig, Justin Lewis, Terry Taylor
PF: Patrick Williams, Dalen Terry, Julian Phillips
C: Nikola Vucevic, Andre Drummond, Adama Sanogo
Currently, The Bulls are favourites by 1.5 points. Over/Under is sitting at 217.5.