Bulls remake roster on deadline Raptors failed But these two teams are still vying for a play-in spot
The Chicago Bulls are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference, with the Toronto Raptors two games behind them In the past, it would seem like a steep climb for either team to get back into the picture of the playoffs, but in today’s NBA that means the Bulls are in playing position and the Raptors still have a chance to catch them And in this pandemic-centric season, just about anything can happen!
But these two teams could have very different goals in mind The Bulls traded for Nikola Vucevic on the trade deadline, an immediate win-win move for a team desperate to gain playoff experience The Raptors, despite their desperate need for a center, did not consolidate their front line, and even if they had never admitted it, they would probably very well miss the playoffs and try their luck in the lottery.
This is the second time I have previewed this game Tonight’s game is postponed from February 28 Fingers crossed, it is progressing as planned!
Toronto – Kyle Lowry (foot – out), Rodney Hood (hip – out), Paul Watson (health and safety protocols – out), Patrick McCaw (knee – out), Fred VanVleet (hip – out), Jalen Harris (trendy)
Chicago – Zach LaVine (ankle – likely), Coby White (neck pain – likely), Lauri Markkanen (leg – likely), Garrett Temple (hamstrings – OUT)
While Raptors fans have been clamoring for a big man’s help since December, the Bulls stepped out on deadline day and picked up two guys who would have looked really good in a Raptors uniform
Vucevic, of course, is the first pickup In his six games in the Bulls’ uniform, he’s averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and one block per game, over a range of shooting 51/36/89 Daniel Theis, acquired from the Celtics, hasn’t been so punchy in his four games, and he’s undersized as a center That still doesn’t stop me from being jealous that the Bulls got him for Luke Kornet, that is to say nothing
Vucevic has struggled against Toronto in the past, and Aron Baynes was halfway earlier in the season to tie with Vooch as the Raptors claimed two wins against the Magic It will be interesting to see how Vucevic fares in the Bulls ‘uniform You’d think Zach LaVine’s dynamic score would help open things up for him (and vice versa), but both players’ scores have been dropping since the trade.
Chicago struggled immediately after the trade deadline, posting a 0 for 4 score on a four-game road trip They have since won back-to-back wins, but are now in the middle of another four-game road trip (this season is a joke)
The Bulls haven’t made the playoffs since 2016-17, and the Vucevic trade was a clear indicator management was running out of patience: it’s a franchise that really wants to enter the playoffs ! Going 2-4 from the deadline probably has a new GM Arturas Karnisovas sweating a bit I’m sure they would like to avoid the play-in game and move up to sixth, but despite the poor nature of most of East, it becomes an increasingly difficult question
All of this to say that, despite occupying a higher place in the table and already in a play-in position, the Bulls are probably the most desperate team tonight. This decimated Raptors team, despite having two nice wins earlier this week, well they’re pretty much toasted.I can’t fault them for not getting up exactly for those games in Tampa with half the team on the plateau and all the crowd applauding the “road” team
Bulls also straddle a Pacers kick and destroy Raptors 118-95 in their March reunion
Since the trade deadline, OG Anunoby has been asked to take on more offensive load for the Raptors, in addition to his usual defensive load – one of usually keeping the best player on the opposing wing for the entire time. part, then stop whoever the greatest threat is in the clutch, be it a leader, a wing or a cross
This makes his extended attacking play even more impressive Since the deadline (excluding the Lakers game, where he was thrown out after nine minutes), Anunoby is averaging 18 points and 27 assists per game (with 7 rebounds, 13 steals and 1 block) He only plays one minute more per game than he was before the deadline, but his usage has increased from 17% per game to 22%
It’s another test tonight for OG, as he’ll be tasked with guarding Zach LaVine and continuing to carry a heavy scoring load So far, all indications are telling me he’s ready to take on the challenge!
Bulls vs Raptors
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