John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
[Thanks to boyonthedock for today's game preview. There are still some openings left this month if you're interested. And if you're interested in going to the actual games, use our partners if you want Chicago Bulls Tickets. -yfbb]
The Bulls travel to the slightly more frigid north to take on the Toronto Raptors of Toronto tonight, in what should be a stirring contest of teams that are both in the NBA.
They play at 6:00, on CSN. I always hate it when the broadcast info isn't in the previews, and I hate becoming what I hate.
The Bulls are coming off another record setting defensive effort against the Atlanta Hawks, who the standings tell me are a pretty good team this year. So bully for them. I heard the game was pretty boring to watch. It probably was, considering I fell asleep during halftime. But I prefer to give our beloved ball players the benefit of the doubt, considering my erratic sleep schedule.
But enough about that, Toronto! They have lost their last 2 contests by double digits, to the Bucks and Nets. It looks like they are shitty at rebounding, so that bodes well for a Bulls team that still crashes the boards with a certain fiery passion to retain possession of the ball after it hits a rim. Because that's what rebounding is. I'm going to guess their big dudes are not very good at rebounding, and a cursory glance at some stats indicates that yes, this is the case. Their best guys on the glass, PFs Amir Johnson and Ed Davis, each play about half the game and pull down roughly 6 1/3 rebounds a contest. That's a third less than Deng takes in, not to mention carom monsters Noah and Boozer, and to a lesser extent Gibson in less minutes. Ugh, I'm using raw stats. rankly, I hate that, but I have forgotten where to go to get good ones. College season is underway, and as a result I haven't closed my kenpom tab in like a month on my browser. Any way, I'm pretty sure The Rap trap play at a faster pace than the bulls, and grab less boards.
That's probably because their center, Ol' man Bargs, just don't hit the boards like he used to. turns out he never did. And he doesn't score efficiently any more. And he's hurt, so he won't be here, so you just wasted your time reading that, and I did writing it. I should check injury report FIRST, then write player blurb in the future. He hurt his elbow like a month ago, and I just now found out. Young center Jonas Valuenaciousness is also out with a broken finger. So, I guess that leaves our old pal Aaron Gray, the White Panther, to man down the center position. He joins other old, old friend JLIII in T-town. They don't really do that much, expect Davis and Johnson to be out there together after Gray watches Noah win the tip. They're both ok players, nothing to write home about. Perfectly serviceable young big dudes.
The meat of this team is their guards. Calderon is pretty solid, and Kyle Lowry is lighting the league up off the bench. He scored 21 points in 15 minutes on 5-7 form the floor and 4-5 from 3 the other night against the Nets. He also had 5 fouls in 15 minutes, so take that into consideration. Derozan and Terrence Ross, who I hate because fuck Washington, play the 2 guard. this team is just very mediocre and boring to me. Mediocre might be generous. Combine that with the aforementioned injuries to Bargnani and Jonas Not Jerebko, and Kleiza is probably out and something called Alan Anderson chipped a tooth last game, and they just don't even have enough bodies to trot out there to lose respectably. Landry "Lance" Fields will be playing most of the game. The Bulls will come in and crush them.
Go to Raptors HQ to read what people who like that team have to think about their injured lottery team. Also, go check out what Spilly wrote and prepare yourself a nice Canada themed game time snack. I'm gonna be watching Marquette Seton Hall anyway tonight, but I'll catch most of the first half!