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The matchup winner between the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors will have to win two matches to earn the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Chicago Bulls finished the season 10th in the East with a 40-42 overall record and an 18-23 road record. The Toronto Raptors ended the season ninth in the East with a 41-41 overall record and a solid 27-14 home record.
The Toronto Raptors won their regular season series against the Chicago Bulls 2-1. Hosted at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Raptors will have home court advantage. The Raptors remain undefeated against the Bulls at home this season, most recently defeating them 98-104.
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|Chicago Bulls||Head-to-Head||Toronto Raptors|
|Billy Donovan||Head Coach||Nick Nurse|
|40-42 (10th in East)||Standing||41-41 (9th in East)|
|112.8 (24th of 30)||Off Rtg||114.6 (13th of 30)|
|111.5 (5th of 30)||Def Rtg||113.1 (11th of 30)|
|99.1 (18th of 30)||Pace||97.8 (25th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|Z. LaVine (24.8)||PPG||P. Siakam (24.2)|
|N. Vucevic (11.0)||RPG||J. Poeltl (9.1)|
|D. DeRozan (5.1)||APG||F. VanVleet (7.2)|
|A. Caruso (1.5)||SPG||O. Anunoby (1.9)|
|P. Williams (0.9)||BPG||J. Poeltl (1.3)|
|A. Drummond (.606)/D. DeRozan (8.9)||FG%/FGM||J. Poeltl (.652)/P. Siakam (8.9)|
|P. Williams (.415)/Z. LaVine (2.6)||3P%/3PM||O. Anunoby (.387)/F. VanVleet (3.0)|
|Lonzo Ball||Chicago Bulls||21 Feb 2023||Out (Knee)||Ball has been shut down for the season and there is no timetable for his return.|
|Justin Lewis||Chicago Bulls||07 Mar 2023||Out (Knee)||There is no timetable for Lewis' return.|
|Otto Porter Jr.||Toronto Raptors||10 Jan 2023||Out (Foot)||Porter underwent season-ending surgery on his foot. There is no timetable for his return.|
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Chicago Bulls ATS Record: 40-39-3
Toronto Raptors ATS Record: 41-39-2
The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls compete in a one-off matchup to determine which Play-In team will have the opportunity to compete for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs! The Chicago Bulls finished the season with a 40-42 overall record and an 18-23 road record. The Toronto Raptors finished ninth in the East with a 41-41 overall record and a solid 27-14 home record.
Finding their success on the defensive end of the ball, the Toronto Raptors limit teams to just 111.4 points per game (4th in the NBA) while limiting opponents to just 82.3 field goal attempts (1st in the NBA) and forcing 16.7 turnovers per game (2nd in the NBA). The Toronto Raptors may have won the season series against the Bulls, but they need to improve on an offense that shot just 41.8% from the field and 31.8% from three in three games.
The Chicago Bulls are a similarly defensive team, who hold opponents to 111.8 points (7th in the NBA) on 46.8% from the field while also converting on 49.0% of their shots (4th in the NBA), despite averaging just 113.1 points per game (22nd in the NBA). The Chicago Bulls need to be wary not to be taken advantage of on the glass, as their bottom-third rebounding rate looks suspect against a Raptors team that holds opponents to just 42.3 rebounds per game (10th in the NBA).
This Eastern Conference Play-In first-round game will be a hard-nosed affair between two of the league's blue-collar teams. Two sides that struggle from range, whichever team controls the paint, will win this game. Given the Raptors' collection of finishing talent and rebounding threat, expect Toronto to progress to the next round.
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All eyes are on Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, who has toed the line between superstar and second option more than anyone else all season. He's averaged 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists on 48.0% from the field and 32.4% from three through 71 games, but his post-season performance will determine the Raptors' chances at victory. If Toronto hopes to push for the eighth seed, Siakam must be dominant.
Almost poetically, DeMar DeRozan leads his Chicago Bulls against the team that helped establish his legend in the NBA. Given his individual scoring and playmaking ability, an engaged DeRozan can break down the Raptors and push Chicago to a chance at the eighth seed! DeRozan is averaging 24.5 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.6 rebounds on 50.4% from the field and 32.4% from three - but he must overcome the negative narrative about his post-season ability.
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The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls are among the lower-scoring teams in the NBA. The Chicago Bulls combine for 224.9 points per game on a plus-1.3 points differential. The Toronto Raptors combine for 224.3 points per game on a plus-1.3 points differential.
Through their last five games, the Toronto Raptors combined for 219.0 points per game on a plus-6.6 differential. Conversely, the Chicago Bulls' last five games combined for 214.2 points per game on a plus-3.0 points differential. The Bulls cleared 214.5 in three of their previous five games, while the Raptors did so in four of five.
With one of these teams ending their season after this game, both sides will field their best scorers and defenders. The Raptors and Bulls project to put on a more defensive affair, but their recent play has shown that both sides are willing to run with the opposition. Still, shooting quality isn't high, and to maximize possessions, expect the Bulls and Raptors to play a much more subdued game.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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