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Clash of the (Early Season) Titans: Raptors and Bulls Do Battle on TNT

The Raptors face their toughest test thus far as Derrick Rose and the Bulls visit the Air Canada Centre for a nationally-televised game.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

Team Records: Chicago Bulls (6-2, 4-2 on road) vs. Toronto Raptors (7-1, 5-0 at home)

Where to Watch: TSN2, 8:00 p.m.

Overture, curtains, lights

This is it, you'll hit the heights

And oh what heights we'll hit

On with the show this is it!

A Raptors game this early in the campaign has no business feeling this important.

Yet here we are.

Toronto is riding the high of a five-game winning streak after a close call against the Orlando Magic on Remembrance Day. They'll be going up against a well-rested Chicago team that's been off since a 102-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 10.

Derrick Rose is probable after returning to the lineup from a pair of sprained ankles. He's averaging 20.0 points and 8.3 assists in 12 career games against the Raptors.

We could be in for quite the high-scoring affair in this one, folks. The Raptors lead the NBA in points per game at 107.0. The Bulls, surprisingly enough, rank eighth at 104.0. They finished last one season ago at just 93.7 points.

After a miserable outing (four points on 1-for-5 shooting) against the Magic, Jonas Valanciunas will need to be on top form against a formidable Pau Gasol/Joakim Noah frontcourt. Their size and strength in the post will make life miserable for the 22-year-old if he doesn't get assertive early and often.

It's been 12 years since the Raptors last hosted a TNT game during the regular season. This is a big deal. It's a sign that the basketball world is holding the team in high regard like the #WeTheNorth movement does day in and day out.

An unbeaten road team vs. an unbeaten home team? Something has to give.

Leave a comment and enjoy the game!