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Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors preseason preview: DeMar DeRozan returns from whence he came

battle of the mid-tier Eastern Conference teams

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to improve their 1-1 preseason record, your Chicago Bulls are headed up to the Great White North to do battle today with old pals Thaddeus Young and Otto Porter (although he may sit with an injury— a familiar predicament for Bulls fans), plus the rest of their Toronto Raptors teammates.

Reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes and All-NBA power forward Pascal Siakam, as big, switchy forwards who can defend anyone and score from virtually anywhere, will be the team’s toughest coverages. Can Patrick Williams and, uh, DeMar DeRozan contain the duo?

Chicago made mincemeat out of a Nikola Jokic-free Denver Nuggets lineup in a 131-113 victory on Thursday, shooting a stellar 60% of all his students. With Fred VanVleet probably sitting due to injury, the Raptors have at least (inadvertently) leveled the playing field for the Bulls tonight.

All-NBA Bulls small forward DeMar DeRozan is already in midseason mode. In 24 minutes on Friday, he logged 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.

Head coach Billy Donovan appears to be tinkering with his starting lineups. He swapped out third-year forward Patrick with springy 6’5” Javonte Green, and Green responded: scoring 15 on points (including a 3-for-3 night from deep).

Look for Donovan to also keep futzing with his point guard rotation, given the uncertain long-term health trajectory of Lonzo Ball’s rehabilitation. Current starter Ayo Dosunmu had some fun moments Tuesday. Alex Caruso pulled off some of those patented Alex Caruso hustle plays, and Goran Dragic seemed to be acclimating to Chicago well in that second exhibition contest.

Injury Report:

Lonzo Ball and two-way player Justin Lewis remain out with major injuries for Chicago.

For the Raptors, ex-Bull Otto Porter Jr. and center Chris Boucher will sit tonight. 2022 All-Star (and Rockford native) Fred VanVleet and Malachi Flynn are questionable with minor injuries. Justin Champagnie will play limited minutes in his preseason debut.

Game Time:

5 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, NBA TV, 670 AM The Score


The Raptors are listed as three-point favorites tonight. The over/under set for the cumulative game score is 225 total points. (All info via DraftKings. Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.)