I was incorrect on my last Raptors free prediction as the Raptors (-2.5) were downed 108-104 at Detroit last night. I am now 28-29 in Raptors free predictions. Tonight the 42-29 Toronto Raptors host the 43-29 Chicago Bulls.
(43-29) Chicago Bulls @ (42-29) Toronto Raptors
Probable starting line-ups:
Chicago – PG – Aaron Brooks SG – Jimmy Butler C – Joakim Noah SF – Mike Dunleavy PF – Pau Gasol
Toronto – PG – Greivis Vasquez SG – DeMar DeRozan C – Jonas Valanciunas SF – Terrence Ross PF – Amir Johnson
Chicago – PPG – Jimmy Butler 20.2 RPG – Pau Gasol 11.9 APG – Derrick Rose 5.0
Toronto – PPG – DeMar DeRozan 19.3 RPG – Jonas Valanciunas 8.7 APG – Kyle Lowry 6.9
Team Scoring: (with league ranking in parentheses)
Chicago – PF – 100.8 (14th) PA – 98.6 (11th)
Toronto – PF – 104.3 (4th) PA – 101.3 (23rd)
The Chicago Bulls have won 3 of their last 4 games. On Monday they notched a 98-86 home win versus the Charlotte Hornets. Backup rookie power forward Nikola Mirotic led the team in scoring with 28 points on 10 of 19 shooting in 32 minutes off the bench. He was 7 of 10 from the free throw line. He also had 8 rebounds. Power forward Pau Gasol had a double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds. He was 11 of 19 from the field and 4 of 6 from the free throw line in 33 minutes. He also had 4 blocks and 3 assists. Shooting guard Jimmy Butler netted 19 points on 6 of 20 shooting in 40 minutes. He was 7 of 10 from the free throw line. He also had 9 rebounds. Point guard Aaron Brooks contributed with 13 points and 10 assists. He was 6 of 10 from the field in 33 minutes. The team shot 45.1% from the field, 18.8% from the 3 point line (3-16), and 72.4% from the free throw line (21-29). The team was out-rebounded 51-46. The Bulls held the Hornets to 37 points in the 2nd half. Chicago is 20-15 on the road this season. Including tonight they play 5 of their next 7 games on the road. Their next game is Saturday at home versus the New York Knicks.
The Toronto Raptors have lost 2 of their last 3 games. Last night they were defeated 108-104 at Detroit. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan led the way in a losing effort with a double-double as he scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. He was 5 of 17 from the field and 12 of 12 from the free throw line in 42 minutes. Backup shooting guard Louis Williams netted 19 points on 6 of 11 shooting in 33 minutes. He was 3 of 6 from the 3 point line and 4 of 5 from the free throw line. Power forward Amir Johnson scored 13 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. He was 5 of 5 from the field and 3 of 4 from the foul line in 31 minutes. Backup power forward Patrick Patterson contributed with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. He was 4 of 8 from the field, 2 of 4 from the 3 point line, and 3 of 3 from the free throw line in 27 minutes. Center Jonas Valanciunas scored 12 points and had 8 rebounds. He was 5 of 12 from the field in 30 minutes. The team shot 46.7% from the field, 30.4% from the 3 point line (7-23), and 93.1% from the free throw line (27-29). The team narrowly out-rebounded their opposition 43-42. The Raptors were outscored 37-27 in the opening quarter. Toronto is 24-12 at home this season. Tonight is the 2nd game of a back to back. They are 9-6 in the 2nd game of a back to back so far this season. Tonight is also the start of a 3 game home stand. Their next game is Friday at home versus the Los Angeles Lakers.
Chicago leads the season series with Toronto 3-0. The Bulls have won the 3 games by an average margin of 10 points per game versus the Raptors. Tonight is the final meeting of the season between the 2 teams.
The Bulls have a half game lead on the Raptors for the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs race. They have pretty much owned the Raptors this season in 3 meetings. The Raptors won’t have Kyle Lowry tonight which will hurt them against a team they don’t match up well against. Take the Bulls -2 (1.90) (Bet365)
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