Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Chicago Bulls
Records: Raptors (15-7), Bulls (8-16)
Where to Watch
Date: Dec. 9, 2019
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: SN1/E/O/P (Canada), NBC Sports Chicago or NBA League Pass (USA)
Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
The Toronto Raptors look to snap a recent three-game skid Monday when they travel to the United Center to take on the Chicago Bulls, who are on a two-game losing streak of their own.
Both teams are on the second end of a back-to-back as Toronto is coming off of a six-point loss to Philadelphia, while Chicago suffered a five-point overtime loss in Miami on Sunday.
It's the second of three meetings between the two teams in the 2019-20 season and an opportunity for the Raptors to get back on track should they continue their recent dominance over the Bulls. After earning a 24-point win in Chicago in the first week of the season, the Raptors have now won 10 straight over the Bulls, a streak that dates back to the 2016-17 season.
During Toronto's three-game losing streak, it has given up 116.7 points per game to opponents while struggling on the offensive end. The Raptors are shooting 41.6% from the field and 29.6% from 3-point range over the last three while committing 15.7 turnovers per game.
The net rating over the last three? -8.3. Remarkably, the Raptors rallied to get within striking distance in each of the three losses despite the play of Pascal Siakam, who has struggled on the offensive end as of late.
|First 19 Games||25.6||47.0||39.0||8.4||4.0|
|Last 3 Games||18.3||38.9||14.3||9.3||1.7|
Siakam is coming off of a tough game in which he scored just 16 points on 7-for-18 shooting from the field and 0-for-4 shooting from deep, continuing the trend of the Raptors struggling when he fails to get going.
In fact, the numbers are pretty staggering:
|In 15 Wins||27.1||49.8||40.4||8.9||4.0|
|In 7 Losses||19.3||37.5||27.9||7.7||3.0|
While Siakam looks to assert himself, a nagging injury to Fred VanVleet further complicates things, as the fourth-year guard left Sunday's loss vs. the Sixers with a right knee contusion but told reporters postgame that he plans to "try again" in Chicago.
For the Bulls, the recent trend has been close decisions; the team is 2-3 in its last five but the five-point loss in Miami stands as the largest margin of defeat over that span. Against the Heat, Chicago led midway through overtime but was held scoreless in the final 2:27 as Miami closed on an 8-0 run.
Over their last five, Zach LaVine (24.2 ppg) and Lauri Markkanen (18.0 ppg) have given the Bulls a boost on the offensive end, combining to shoot 35-for-85 (41.2%) from deep over the course of the span.
The first time around, the Raptors held LaVine (11) and Markkanen (9) to a combined 20 points on 7-for-23 shooting as the Bulls finished shooting 29-for-97 (29.9%) as a team - by far their worst shooting performance of the season.
It's fair to assume that Chicago won't shoot as poorly this time around.
Offensive efficiency is also something to keep an eye on, as the Raptors (110.1 ORTG) boast a top-10 rated offence while the Bulls' offence (103.5 ORTG) ranks 29th out of 30 teams. Still, the recent stretch of competitive games for a young team like Chicago does nothing but boost confidence.
All things considered, this has the makings of an intriguing matchup as both teams look to get back on track after recent letdowns.
The NBA has yet to release the official injury report for this game.
- The Toronto Raptors have won 10 consecutive games vs. the Chicago Bulls. Toronto's last loss to Chicago came on Feb. 14, 2017
- Toronto is 9-0 this season vs. teams below .500; Chicago is 0-9 this season vs. teams .500 and above
- Despite a recent slump, Toronto is still the league's second-best 3-point shooting team (38.7%). Chicago's 35.2% from deep ranks 19th.
- This is the third of 13 back-to-backs on the Raptors schedule this season. Toronto is 1-1 on the second end of back-to-backs so far, with the one win coming over Chicago in Oct.
- The Bulls are 2-1 on the second end of back-to-backs this season, with the one loss coming to the Raptors in Oct.
- Fred VanVleet is a native of nearby Rockford, IL, less than two hours away from Chicago's United Center
Last Time They Played
Date: Oct. 24, 2019
Score: Raptors 108, Bulls 84
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Bulls: Wendell Carter Jr. - 12 points, 11 rebounds (5 offensive)