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Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors Preview: LaVine questionable

Matchups have been competitive this season

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Chicago Bulls (32-18) vs. Toronto Raptors (26-23)

The Bulls went a couple days there without a new injury. But Zach LaVine unexpectedly landed on the NBA.com injury report with back spasms, and is currently Questionable.

Preview:

The Chicago Bulls are in the midst of a much-needed lighter stretch of their schedule right now. It’s an eight-game stretch where the only team that the Bulls play that is currently over the .500 mark is the Toronto Raptors whom they play twice.

The matchup against the Raptors tonight is game seven of eight in this stretch. The Bulls are 4-2 so far with an unacceptable loss to the worst team in the entire league in the Orlando Magic and then a loss against the San Antonio Spurs where the entire Bulls team forgot how to play defense.

Just about a week ago, the Bulls took care of the Toronto Raptors - who were without Fred VanVleet - at the United Center, beating them 111-105. The Bulls dominated the paint (68-46) and 20+ point games from Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan were enough to lift the Bulls over the Raptors for the second time this season. Both games between the two teams this season have been very competitive.

Since that loss to the Bulls, the Raptors have won all 3 of their games impressively against the Heat twice and otherwise-surging Atlanta Hawks for the other victory. Gary Trent Jr. has been absolutely on fire, with that last game against the Bulls being one of now 5 games in a row where he’s scored over 30 points.

From now until the trade deadline on Feb. 10, trade rumors are almost as interesting as the actual basketball that is being played. Given that AKME gave us the most exciting trade deadline in years last year, it will be exciting to see what they do in year two. In AKME we trust, but the current players need to take care of business on the court against teams that they should be beating.

Despite the fact that it seems like the Bulls have had all kinds of highs and lows this season already in terms of how well they have played, they continue to lead the Eastern Conference. Interestingly, only two games separate the first five teams right now in the standings so every game the rest of the way truly matters in terms of playoff seeding.

Then NBA is also announcing its All-Star reserves tonight. I’m sure that Zach LaVine will hear his name get called.

Injury Report:

Mentioned LaVine’s addition with Ball, Caruso, Jones, Williams all out long-term.

for the Raptors, they are nearly all healthy outside of Khem Birch who is out.

Game Time: 6:30 p.m. CDT, NBC Sports Chicago