|Last 5 Games||3-2||+0.7||2-3||2-3||96.0||45.2||43.9%||51.2||97.4||50.6||45.9%||48.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||93.1||46.8||36-82||43.6%||5-15||34.6%||16-21||77.4%||52||13||23||19||7||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98||49.3||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.3%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||93.4||47.6||36-82||44.2%||5-16||32.0%||16-21||77.9%||51||12||23||20||7||13||4|
|Stats Against (All Games)||92.8||45.9||35-80||44.2%||6-16||34.7%||16-22||74.2%||50||11||19||20||7||13||6|
|vs opponents averaging||97.8||49.3||37-82||45.1%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.1%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||94.8||46.2||36-80||45.3%||6-17||35.6%||16-23||73.0%||49||11||19||19||7||13||5|
|Last 5 Games||3-2||+0.4||3-2||2-3||93.0||47.2||46.0%||47.6||95.4||52.6||44.6%||49.0|
|Team Stats (All Games)||96.8||48.1||36-82||44.4%||7-20||33.9%||17-22||78.7%||48||11||21||23||7||13||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||97.9||49.4||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.3%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||96.4||47.3||36-82||44.2%||7-20||34.0%||17-22||77.1%||49||11||22||22||8||13||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||99.1||48.9||36-79||46.0%||7-18||36.2%||20-27||74.8%||51||11||22||20||7||14||5|
|vs opponents averaging||97.5||49.1||37-82||45.0%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.0%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||95.5||46.6||35-77||45.6%||6-17||34.9%||19-25||75.4%||50||10||20||20||6||15||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: CHICAGO 95.1, TORONTO 95|
|3/6/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO||83-101||L||8.5||L||190.5||U||33-90||36.7%||43||8||40-74||54.1%||53||12|
|3/10/2013||@ LA LAKERS||81-90||L||5||L||193.5||U||33-89||37.1%||53||13||39-86||45.3%||58||13|
|3/15/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE||113-95||W||5||W||186||O||43-83||51.8%||53||14||34-76||44.7%||38||12|
|4/12/2013||@ TORONTO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/14/2013||@ MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/15/2013||@ ORLANDO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/17/2013||WASHINGTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|3/4/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE||118-125||L||6.5||L||205.5||O||41-94||43.6%||56||13||47-82||57.3%||45||14|
|3/8/2013||@ LA LAKERS||116-118||L||7.5||W||207||O||48-93||51.6%||52||17||39-91||42.9%||59||13|
|3/23/2013||@ NEW YORK||84-110||L||7||L||191.5||O||34-76||44.7%||41||18||41-79||51.9%||47||11|
|4/12/2013||CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/14/2013||BROOKLYN|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/16/2013||@ ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/17/2013||BOSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|CHICAGO: GUARDS: The best guess on DERRICK ROSE is a February return. But an ACL injury usually isn't 100 percent until the second full year back . . . With Rose out, KIRK HINRICH figures to play heavy minutes early. He's a defensive specialist who will pass and watch on offense . . . NATE ROBINSON could push Hinrich for minutes. He's the offensive half of that platoon, but Thibodeau almost always leans defense . . . RICHARD HAMILTON will carry a bigger offensive load while Rose is recovering. He's a shadow of his former self . . . MARCO BELINELLI is a nice addition. He's solid defensively, and he brings the long-range shooting Chicago lacks. Don't be surprised if he pushes Hamilton . . . Rookie MARQUIS TEAGUE will mostly sit and watch this year. FORWARDS: After avoiding wrist surgery, LUOL DENG should be Chicago's top scorer while Rose is out. He's the only one on this team who even has a chance to generate his own offense . . . CARLOS BOOZER continues to be a major disappointment. In the past it's been his atrocious defense, but now he's taken a step back offensively as well. He may score more with Rose out, but he'll continue to sit late in close games . . . TAJ GIBSON should be in for a bigger role. With Omer Asik gone, he's one of only two defensively capable bigs on this roster . . . VLADIMIR RADMANOVIC will try to replace some of the three-point shooting they lost when Kyle Korver left . . . JIMMY BUTLER has a puncher's chance at a rotation spot after a good summer. CENTERS: JOAKIM NOAH was still working his way back from that badly sprained ankle this summer. His durability is questionable, but the Bulls will have to lean on Noah for more minutes now that Omer Asik is gone . . . NAZR MOHAMMED steps into Asik's role as Noah's backup. But while Asik was an active defender, Mohammed is more of just a big body with six fouls to give.|
|TORONTO: GUARDS: KYLE LOWRY is healthy again and will be handed the reigns. He could be the Raptors best player on both ends of the floor . . . As of now, JOSE CALDERON is still on the roster, but he's not long for Toronto with Lowry's arrival. He won't start over Lowry, but he could see decent minutes as the Raptors attempt to showcase him . . . With Toronto's influx of new talent, DeMAR DeROZAN could be marginalized on the offensive end. He hasn't really progressed past the dunker/raw athlete stage of his career . . . Rookie TERRENCE ROSS can just about match DeRozan's athleticism, and while he has no handle, he's a potentially deadly three-point threat . . . JOHN LUCAS III will back up both guard spots . . . ALAN ANDERSON returns as a defensive stopper in the second unit. FORWARDS: ANDREA BARGNANI makes his triumphant return and will likely go back to the perimeter. The Raptors have beefed up in the middle so Bargnani can play outside more . . . LANDRY FIELDS plays enough defense to earn minutes, but it seems like his signing was more a result of Toronto playing cap games to try to land Steve Nash. He'll likely platoon with Terrence Ross . . . ED DAVIS made some strides this offseason, but he's still not where the Raptors want him to be on the offensive end . . . LINAS KLEIZA's knee should be in better shape this season. The Raptors want more shooting, and he has a chance to grab a bigger role . . . Toronto will do everything it can to get out from under AMIR JOHNSON's contract . . . DOMINIC McGUIRE figures to occupy the final seat on the Raptors bench. CENTERS: JONAS VALANCIUNAS would have been the No. 2 pick of the draft had he come out a year later. He's a wiry, strong athlete who's physical down low with soft touch out to 10 feet. Toronto sees him as a franchise cornerstone who meshes nicely with Bargnani . . . AARON GRAY should provide ample competition for the starting center job.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO BASKETBALL PREVIEW (CHICAGO-TORONTO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Bulls-Raptors Preview* =======================
By BRETT HUSTON STATS Editor
Chicago (42-35) at Toronto (30-48), 7:00 p.m. EDT
The Chicago Bulls have wins over all four teams ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings over the past three weeks. It's the clubs which are heading home next week that have given them trouble.
The Bulls look to keep their grip on the East's No. 5 seed Friday night as they travel north of the border trying to avoid a second loss to the lottery-bound Toronto Raptors in four days.
Questions of Derrick Rose's return have been hanging over the Bulls (43-35), but the former MVP's injury isn't the only one Chicago is dealing with. Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Marco Belinelli and Richard Hamilton have missed time in recent weeks, and the Bulls' recent results have been all over the map as coach Tom Thibodeau has used 15 different starting lineups this season - five since March 23.
That 11-game stretch has included victories over Indiana, Brooklyn, Miami and New York, with Chicago ending the Heat's 27-game winning streak March 27 and snapping the Knicks' 13-game run with Thursday's 118-111 overtime victory.
Nate Robinson led the way with a season-high 35 points, bumping his average to 20.0 over his last 10 games.
"For us, we're not focused on stopping streaks," Robinson said. "We're just trying to get better as a team going into the playoffs."
While beating the four teams ahead of them has to have the Bulls feeling confident, some puzzling defeats may cost Chicago home-court advantage in the first round. Thursday's win came two days after a 101-98 home loss to Toronto, the Bulls' third defeat in five games to a team which won't make the playoffs.
Chicago trails Brooklyn by three games for the No. 4 seed and is a half-game up on Atlanta for the fifth spot.
The Raptors (30-48), meanwhile, have been off since beating the Bulls - a win that snapped Toronto's 10-game skid against teams likely headed for the postseason.
"Everyone competed, everyone played with a toughness, a sense of purpose and togetherness, and I was looking for that more than anything else," coach Dwane Casey said.
"That team's a tough team to because they play with toughness and a resilience that 'you've gotta play for 48 (minutes) or you're gonna get embarrassed.'"
Not everything went well for Toronto on Tuesday, nearly blowing a 16-point lead with 8:22 remaining and allowing the Bulls to get within two in the final 20 seconds. In addition, rookie center Jonas Valanciunas left the court on a gurney with a neck injury after colliding with teammate Rudy Gay during a scramble in the final seconds.
Valanciunas had a bit of whiplash, but showed up after practice Thursday without a neck brace. Casey will see how he looks during Friday's shootaround before deciding if he'll face the Bulls, while fellow rookie Terrence Ross is also questionable after spraining his ankle at practice Thursday.
Valanciunas has averaged 15.1 points and shot 62.9 percent in his last 12 games. He was scoring 7.1 per game before that stretch.
"He's probably put in as much work as anybody on our roster," Casey said. "And just to see it come to fruition and him improve individually is great to see."
Deng, Hamilton and Belinelli played Thursday, but Noah and Gibson were sidelined again, so it's anyone's guess who Thibodeau will have available Friday.
He may want to at least give Jimmy Butler a slight breather. Butler has played 98 minutes in the last two games, totaling 50 points and 21 rebounds.
He's played fewer than 42 minutes just once in the last 10.
|Last Updated: 12/21/2014 7:23:12 AM EST|