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Raptors go Wire to Wire and rout Bulls 99-77

The Raptors came out with a strong all-round effort to beat the Bulls 99-77 and move to 3-1 in the post-Rudy Gay era.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

That was as dull as a 20-point win could be. Take one look at the box score and it's evident that the Bulls had no answers for the Raptors' offensive prowess. I can't believe I just wrote those words either. These Raptors aren't making it easy for fans who've talked themselves into the tank movement, that's for sure.

This was about as easy a win as you'll see in the NBA. Undermanned or not, you rarely see a Tom Thibodeau team look this bad on both ends of the floor. JV (15, 11, 4 blocks) and Amir (14, 8, 3 assists) thoroughly outplayed Boozer and Noah. Terrence Ross filled the statsheet, which was nice to see. The revamped bench played a major part; all 3 of the newcomers from Sacramento played a key role in the blowout.

Really though, this win had as much to do with the Bulls as it did the Raptors. Missing Kirk Hinrich, in addition to Derrick Rose, the Bulls trotted out a PG rotation of Marquis Teague and DJ Augustin. As soon as the Raptors went on a run to go into halftime with a 51-41 lead, you could see what was in the cards. Toronto didn't trail the entire game, and from the 2nd quarter on, kept a comfortable lead over Chicago.

The Good:

  • Team Offense: It's remarkable how much better the team looks on offense since the Rudy Gay trade. The Raptors recorded a season high 26 assists on 40 made field goals. They shot 48% against a reputed defensive team. Five different players had more than 3 assists in the game. There were sequences of beautiful screen and roll play, ball movement, drive and kick, interplay within the bigs, etc. This team's basketball is certainly much more pleasing to the eye.
  • Kyle Lowry: With the rumours swirling about Kyle Lowry, I think we need to acknowledge the professionalism with which he's been carrying himself this week. Instead of sulking and getting caught up in the personnel moves, he continues to give 100% on the court. That continued tonight, as he put up a very solid 16 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds.
The Bad:

Nothing bad to say. This was a thoroughly dominant performance.

The Ugly:
  • "The Doctor of Denial": What an AWFUL nickname for Amir Johnson. Forget the fact that Amir isn't exactly a shot blocking machine, it's just goofy-sounding. Come on, Matt, you can do better than that. I sincerely hope this one goes away.
Up Next...the half-decent Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.