The last time these two teams met, the Raptors were a rude houseguest for the Bulls, slapping them around for a 101-71 loss that included a season low 33.3 shooting percentage. One would have thought that game would have been a point for the Bulls to turn things around, to say that it can’t get any worse, that the only way to go is up…well…after losing by 7 to the Knicks yesterday, where they only scored 78 points and shot 34.5 from the floor, I would say that could be viewed as worse.
I just can’t put my finger on what is going wrong with the Bulls, who come into today’s game at 2-9 and are one of the worst teams in the league. The Kobe drama can only be blamed for so much, because at some point, you have to put those things out of your mind and play some ball. The talk around Kobe has essentially been shut down anyway, so you can’t fall back on that excuse anymore.
Luol Deng has been having some back issues, which has caused him to miss their last three games, but reports have him returning to the lineup today against the Raptors. As you know, always one of my favourite guys to watch play, but is he going to have that same sort of agility out there with a sore back? We will have to wait and see just how recovered he is, because if he is in the lineup, Moon is going to be on him really close, forcing him to take it hard inside and if you have a bad back, the last thing you want to be doing is getting into the lane on a repetitive basis (then again, going in the lane against the Raptors isn’t exactly like going in the lane against the Bad Boy Pistons back in the day).
Nice to see Bargnani starting to turn his game around and once again, I think it has to do with him not looking like a homeless guy anymore. Maybe some Woodbridge boys had a talk with him. He’s right around the 15 point mark in his past few games, which is what the Raptors need from him on a nightly basis. If Bargnani puts things together today, matchups are going to be tough for the Bulls, who really just want to get back home at the end of a road trip. The last thing they want to see is Bargnani shooting well, when they are going to have to deal with Bosh, who has been hotter than the back cover of Jully Black’s Revival CD (tried to find a link, can only find the front cover…trust me, worth the trip to HMV).
Early start today, don’t miss it…Raps should have this one, the Bulls just want to go home. Hey, theory here. The Raptors had a long winning streak against the Bulls, then the Bulls rolled off something like 16 straight against the Raptors, now the Raptors have a few in a row against the Bulls…here we go again?