Toronto Raptors @ Chicago Bulls Free Pick March 20th

I was incorrect on my last Raptors free pick as the Raptors (-11.5) held on for a 105-100 win at home versus the Timberwolves on Wednesday. I am now 26-28 in Raptors free picks. Tonight 41-27 Toronto Raptors travel to Chicago to square off with the 41-28 Bulls.

(41-27) Toronto Raptors @ (41-28) Chicago Bulls

 

Probable starting line-ups:

Toronto – PG – Kyle Lowry  SG – DeMar DeRozan  C – Jonas Valanciunas  SF – Terrence Ross  PF – Amir Johnson

Chicago – PG – Aaron Brooks  SG – Tony Snell  C – Joakim Noah  SF – Mike Dunleavy  PF – Pau Gasol

Stats Leaders:

Toronto – PPG – DeMar DeRozan 19.0  RPG – Jonas Valanciunas 8.7  APG – Kyle Lowry 6.9

Chicago – PPG – Jimmy Butler 20.2  RPG – Pau Gasol 12.0  APG – Derrick Rose 5.0

Team Scoring: (with league ranking in parentheses)

Toronto – PF – 104.5 (4th)  PA – 101.3 (23rd)

Chicago – PF – 100.8 (14th)  PA – 98.8 (12th)

Overview:

The Toronto Raptors have won 3 of their last 4 games. On Wednesday they held on for a 105-100 win at home versus Minnesota. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan led the way with 21 points on 4 of 14 shooting in 39 minutes. He was 12 of 12 from the free throw line. He also had 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Center Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. He was 7 of 9 from the field in 24 minutes. Small forward Terrence Ross netted 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting in 29 minutes. Backup power forward Patrick Patterson contributed with 14 points on 5 of 9 shooting in 30 minutes. He also had 4 rebounds. Backup point guard Greivis Vasquez chipped in with 11 points on 4 of 10 shooting in 25 minutes. He was 3 of 6 from the 3 point line. The team shot 44.3% from the field, 41.4% from the 3 point line (12-29), and 85.2% from the free throw line (23-27). They were out-rebounded 45-39. The game was tied at 54 points apiece at halftime. Toronto is 18-15 on the road this season. After tonight they play 4 of their next 5 games at home. Their next game is Sunday at home versus the New York Knicks.

The Chicago Bulls have dropped 5 of their last 7 games. On Wednesday they scored a 103-86 home victory versus the Indiana Pacers. Rookie power forward led the team in scoring with 25 points on 8 of 15 shooting in 31 reserve minutes. He was 8 of 9 from the free throw line. He also had 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Small forward Mike Dunleavy netted 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting in 39 minutes. He was 5 of 8 from the 3 point line. He also had 5 rebounds. Power forward Pau Gasol contributed with a double-double as he scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. He was 7 of 13 from the field in 33 minutes. Small forward Tony Snell scored 14 points on 5 of 11 shooting in 40 minutes. He also had 8 rebounds. Point guard Aaron Brooks chipped in with 13 points on 3 of 10 shooting in 27 minutes. He was 7 of 7 from the foul line. The team shot 41.5% from the field, 41.7% from the 3 point line (10-24), and 89.3% from the free throw line (25-28). The Bulls dominated the glass as they out-rebounded the Pacers 52-38. They outscored their opposition 27-18 in the final quarter. Chicago is 21-14 at home this season. Tonight is the first game of a back to back. They are 11-6 in the 1st game of a back to back so far this season. Tomorrow night they play at the Detroit Pistons.

Chicago has won the first 2 meetings with Toronto this season. On November 13th the Bulls notched a 100-93 road win and on December 22nd the Bulls scored a 129-120 home victory versus the Raptors. After tonight the 2 teams play 1 more time this season, March 25th at Toronto.

Prediction:

The Raptors are 2 games behind the Cavaliers for the 2nd spot in the East and only a half game ahead of their opponent tonight for the 3rd spot. The Bulls still are missing 2 starters in Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler and one key bench contributor in Taj Gibson. For whatever reason the Bulls always bring the effort when they are short-handed. I like how they match-up against the Raptors even with a limited roster. Take the Bulls -1.5 (1.90) (Bet365)

March 20, 2015 by : Posted in Basketball No Comments
Jeff

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Our resident NBA expert, Jeff has been handicapping NBA games for several years. He is an avid follower of the Toronto Raptors and the majority of games he handicaps will involve our lone Canadian NBA team.

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