The Toronto Raptors, once the butt of many a Chicago Bulls fans jokes, have now beaten the Bulls in 10-straight matchups.
The Raptors offense hummed to the tune of 27 assists on 38 made field goals. The Bulls looked lost defensively for most of the contest as Jim Boylen’s reputation as a defensive tactician is beginning to get questioned more and more with each passing game.
Bulls now struggling to guard the dunker spot. FVV rejects the screen and beats Coby. Dunn has to step up and there's no one to defend the drop off pass pic.twitter.com/UhojJN1DAN— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) October 27, 2019
The game was lost in the third quarter. The Bulls couldn’t buy a bucket to begin the quarter as the Raptors quickly extended their advantage to 13 points. The Raptors outscored the Bulls by 14 points in the third quarter to solidify a lead that sat in the high teens for most of the third quarter.
The Bulls shot the ball miserably all game, shooting 30.2 percent from the field and 25.7 percent from triple land. Wendell Carter Jr. led the way with 12 points with both Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine having tough shooting nights again.
In the fourth, the Bulls tried to get back into the game by employing a lineup that included Tomas Satoransky, Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, and Thaddeus Young but that really didn’t help. With about seven minutes to go, Boylen brought in (benched?) the starters in favor of an all-second unit lineup.
Thaddeus Young had kind of a rough first quarter. He had a bad turnover where he was overdribbling, let OG Anunoby blow by him on the baseline for a dunk, then got his life ended by Anunoby on this highlight-reel meet-me-at-the-rim block.
OG just met Thad at the rim pic.twitter.com/zmjem0urlH— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) October 27, 2019
Otto Porter Jr. got clocked in the mouth at the beginning of the second quarter. He’s the only three on the team that head coach Jim Boylen trusts right now. When he went down, the Bulls played a bunch of three-guard sets instead of getting Denzel Valentine out there. Per K.C. Johnson, Otto Porter Jr. needed six stitches to close a cut to his mouth.
The Raptors used a 12 -0 run at the end of the second half to take a 43-36 lead with 2:39 left. At halftime, they led 48-40 as the Bulls shot just 32 percent from the field in the first half. Wendell Carter Jr. was the unsung hero of the first half. His finishing was still suspect but he had nine rebounds in just 13 minutes and was just a beast down low. If everybody else was playing at 100 percent, he was playing at 110 percent as his effort was a notch ahead of everybody else. Carter Jr. ended up having his best game of the season scoring 12 points on 6-for-14 from the field.
One more note: Denzel Valentine finally found the floor. It was in major garbage time, but some playing time is better than no playing time, right? He used a nice shot fake to get his defender to jump past him then stepped up and nailed a 3-point field goal from the corner for his first points of the season.
The Vegas projections that predicted the Bulls to win 30 games aren’t looking so pessimistic anymore.