GAME NIGHT FROM TORONTO: 6:30PM CT
Bulls 2-6 (1-3 road) at Toronto: 5-4 (2-1-home)
TV: WGN TV Chuck Swirsky and Stacey King.
RADIO: Jason Benetti, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul. 6PM CT WLS 890AM.
LAST MEETING: Raptors 117 – Bulls 100.
Bulls: Lopez: 18 points. Markkanen: 17 points 8 rebounds.
Toronto: Valanciunas: 23 points 15rebounds. Raptors outscored the Bulls 33-14 in 2nd quarter.
LAST GAME: New Orleans 96 Bulls 90- OT Bulls: Holiday 18 points. Valentine 16 points. Washington 107 Raptors 96. DeRozan 26 points. Lowry ejected at 8:08 of 2nd quarter.
Bulls: Markkanen: 16 points
Toronto: DeRozan 23.9 points
Bulls: Markkanen 9
Toronto: Valanciunas 7
Bulls: Grant 7
Toronto: Lowry 6
BULLS INJURY UPDATE: Head Coach Fred Hoiberg announced starting forward David Nwaba will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a sprained right ankle. This is a huge loss for the Bulls. They are going to miss his energy, tenacity and passion.
PORTIS RETURNS: After serving an eight game suspension, Portis is in uniform tonight. He appeared in 62 games last year and 126 in two seasons. Last season he averaged 6 points 4 rebounds. In game 1 of the Bulls-Celtics playoff series, Bobby poured in 19 in a Bulls victory. He will back up Lauri Markkanen at the power forward position.
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Bulls know they’ve got to play exceptional defense against the Raptors. Toronto is in the top ten in scoring averaging nearly 108 points per game. In the NBA opener, the Raptors’ bench took control of the game and dominated action in the second quarter. In previous Bulls- Raps games, the Raptors attempted to establish the presence of their huge post player, Jonas Valanciunas early to set the tone. Another intriguing matchup is the Markkanen- Ibaka stretch four duel. Toronto finished their longest road trip of the season going 3-3 out west. They returned home Sunday and lost to Washington.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
Last night in the Association….The Warriors scored 97 points (they came in averaging a league high 118 per game) but held Miami to 80.
Devin Booker became the fourth youngest player to score 3-thousand career points in the Suns loss to the Nets. The other three? LeBron, Melo, KD. Pretty good company.
Boston remains on fire..nine straight wins..longest streak in seven seasons. A league best 9-2 after hanging on for a win over the Hawks. Kyrie Irving wanted to be the “man”—-he’s doing just fine in Beantown even without the injured Gordon Hayward. Irving crushed it for 35 including a huge 3 ball with the game on the line.
Wishing the entire Windy City Bulls organization the best for a successful season. NBA opening night rosters featured a record 167 players with NBA G League experience..that’s 38% of all NBA players. Impressive. A record 26 teams will compete this season.
Lonzo Ball is getting major “pub” around the NBA but the Lakers have another gifted rookie in Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma was the 27th pick in the draft (Brooklyn’s pick) out of Utah and is now shooting 45 of 65 (69%) from 2pt range. He’s shooting 34% from 3pt range.
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Always a pleasure!