This one was bad. After a huge win a couple nights ago, the Toronto Raptors fell to 4-6 on the season after crashing down to earth tonight, courtesy of a huge loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls; 96-80. Despite playing without Derrick Rose in this matchup, the Bulls imposed their will in this game; playing at a noticeably higher level than the Raptors for 48 minutes.
Where do I begin? Most of the Toronto Raptors could not throw a rock in the ocean tonight. I mean, seriously— while watching this game, I was wondering just what happened to the team that defeated the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this week. What happened to the energy and intensity? They were no where to be found tonight. Toronto shot a dismal 35% from the field against the Bulls. Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan were the only players to score over 10 points tonight. While the dynamic wing duo combined for 57 of 80 points tonight, the lack of offensive production from the team as a whole was a huge reason that Toronto took such a loss.
The offense was just flat. The team had 19 assists on 29 made shots, but also had 16 turnovers. Kyle Lowry was 3 for 15 (and 0 for 7 beyond the arc), so the Raptors long-range production was practically non-existent in this one. Against a Chicago team that places emphasis on packing the paint to limit points in the lane, Toronto had to make their jumpers tonight, but failed quite miserably. To make things worse, Dwane Casey searched for a spark from the team’s backup players, but they were only able to contribute 10 points. Yes, you read that correctly. Not enough to get the job done when the starters aren’t on their game.
For a lot of the game tonight, Toronto looked outclassed by Chicago’s tough roster. The Raptors didn’t look as locked in on this side of the floor as one would expect them to with Rose out of the Bulls lineup. The Bulls shot 36 for 80 as a team (45%). With 19 points, Luol Deng led a balanced Chicago offensive attack that rarely looked disorganized, and Kirk Hinrich provided adequate minutes with the team’s star player sitting out.
After the first half of basketball, the Raptors didn’t allow Chicago to make a single three pointer. In the final 24 minutes of the game, Toronto gave up 21 points from downtown. The rotations were late, and Bulls players had little difficulty in capitalizing on the open shots they were given. Toronto only lost by 16 points tonight— this one could have been much worse.
Rebounding was the silver lining in this disappointing loss tonight. So far this season, the Raptors have not lost any rebounding battles by substantial amounts. Toronto pulled down 43 boards in comparison to Chicago’s 48. The Raptors matched the Bulls effort on the offensive glass too, grabbing 11 rebounds on that side of the floor. Rudy Gay led all Raptors with 9 boards.
Game Ball – DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan matched his career high in points, scoring 37 tonight on 13 of 22 shooting. Unfortunately, this efficient offensive performance came in a losing effort. It is encouraging to see DeRozan shoot 4 for 6 from three point range, but it’s sad to see his best performance going to waste. Just like he did against the Atlanta Hawks earlier this season, DeRozan played well enough to prevent the loss from being worse than it was, but did not have enough help to pull the team to a win.
He also had this incredible dunk.