Sure, the Bulls haven’t played anybody worth a dang in their first 3 games. But they have won all three of those games pretty comfortably and that’s without a truly immaculate performance in any of them. There is something to be said for that. Bad teams can get wins all the time in the NBA, and it’s notable that the Bulls haven’t been tripped up yet like the Knicks (lost to Magic) or Hawks (lost to Cavs).
So tonight there is a bit more of a test in that it’s a road game against a team that is not that good (especially without their best player) but should be better than dreck. The Toronto Raptors are indeed without Pascal Siakam, but still have a pretty deep, veteran, and continuity-forged squad. Add to that fourth overall pick Scottie Barnes, who is already averaging 18 points a game and playing more than 32 minutes per game over the Raptors 1-2 start.
In these three games, they’ve looked to have a solid defense (7th) with a strug-gle-ing offense (26th). But, altogether, a Bulls win tonight would be nothing to gloss over.
Also, a win tonight would mean 4 straight wins for Zach LaVine for the first time in his career.
Breaking news Monday morning with Nikola Vucevic marked questionable due to illness. The Bulls have not really used backup center Tony Bradley much this season, and it remains to be seen if the Bulls want to keep the bench big rotation as-is and leapfrog Bradley into the starting lineup. Then again, the Raptors don’t have a big plodding center so the Bulls could probably ‘get away with’ starting Alize Johnson or even moving Patrick Williams up to center.
As mentioned, for the Raptors Siakam is out, as is Yuta Watanabe.