The Toronto Raptors are trying to build some momentum before the Eastern Conference Playoffs starts, but they have been struggling of late. The Raptors won’t be the top seed in the East again this season, but they should be number two. Chicago is trying to get a look at some of their younger players in hopes of building a competitive team next season.
Chicago comes into this game with a record of 21-53, which is near the bottom of the entire league. The Bulls have shown the ability to beat some quality opponents this season, but they also get blown out a ton. Toronto has lost two straight games to drop their record to 51-23 on the season. The Raptors still hold a four-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlantic Division. Toronto is a -13.5 point favorite over the Bulls in this game.
Bulls Resting Several Players
The Chicago Bulls aren’t a very good team to begin with, and they will be without some of their best players in this game. Chicago has shut down Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchinson, and they could be without Otto Porter as well. This will take away almost 30 points per game from a team that only averages 105.3 points per night. Don’t expect much offense from the Bulls in this game.
Second-year forward Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine have both been extremely impressive for the Bulls this season. LaVine leads the team with 23.7 points per game this season and looks like a building block in Chicago. Markkanen has been impressive since coming into the league and has chipped in with 18.9 points per game. Toronto will have to find a way to slow down these two players on Tuesday night.
Leonard Dominating in First Season Up North
The Toronto Raptors have been near the top of the Eastern Conference for the last few seasons, but this might be their best team. Kawhi Leonard was brought over to lead this Raptors team, and he has been a monster in his first season. Leonard leads the team with 27.2 points per game this season and has also been solid on the defensive end of the floor. The Raptors should make a deep playoff run with their new player.
The Raptors have many more weapons outside of Leonard and are averaging 114.1 points per game. Toronto is also a great defensive team, especially at home, allowing just 108.8 points per game. Center Serge Ibaka anchors the defense with 8.0 rebounds per game and is averaging 1.4 blocks per game. This Raptors team is legit.
Raptors Blow Out Short Handed Bulls
Even though this game doesn’t really matter for both teams, this shouldn’t be a very competitive game. Even if the Raptors decide to rest a few players in this game, they still have too much talent for the Chicago Bulls. Toronto is always tough to beat at home, and the Bulls just have too many players missing this game. This one won’t be close. Bet the Toronto Raptors -13.5 over the Chicago Bulls.