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Raptors Will Never Beat the Bulls, Go Down 109-107

They're never winning.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Repeat after me: The Raptors are never beating the Bulls. Chicago came into this one with no Derrick Rose, Mike Dunleavy, Joakim Noah, an injured Jimmy Butler, etc, and still outclassed the Raptors on the night. Don't let the final score fool you. The Raptors were lethargic, complacent, and downright undisciplined defensively. It was another game of Chicago's deep rotation guys hurting Toronto, as they close out the season 4-0 against the Raps.

Right from the get go, it looked like the Raptors would be unable to shake off the repeated malaise that seems to show up every time they face the Bulls. A lackadaisical and undisciplined Raptors defence allowed the undermanned Bulls to coast to a 34 point first quarter. E'Twaun Moore and Doug McDermott didn't just seemingly make every shot, they actually went 9-for-9 from the floor collectively to open the game. After shooting 14-for-21 to open the game, the Bulls took a 34-29 lead after the first quarter.

The second wasn't much better. Jonas Valanciunas left the game after suffering an injury to the same hand he broke earlier this year. McDermott was still unstoppable, as he tallied 14 points in the second quarter alone and the Raptors somehow had no one to guard him. After a sequence of terrible calls went against the Raptors, with Dwane Casey and Patrick Patterson both picking up technicals, Toronto managed to fight back to cut the lead to six and went into half-time down 58-52.

If you expected the Raptors to come out of the break with a different energy to get back in the game, you were completely wrong. The third quarter saw some more domination from the Bulls tertiary and beyond scorers, as 18 of the points came from Nikola Mirotic, McDermott and Moore. The Raptors were unable to gain any more ground as the Bulls took a 84-77 lead into the 4th quarter.

The whole Raptors team looked lethargic and lazy, and went down by double digits with seven minutes left in the game. Then Kyle Lowry took over, canned two 3-pointers, and hit a layup, and was a pest in the passing lanes. It was looking like the game was about done with the Raptors down eight with under two minutes left. After a series of timely defensive stops by the Raps and untimely turnovers by the Bulls, the lead continued to be chipped away at. The Raptors stole an inbounds pass, forced a 5-second violation (thanks, Drake), and made quick baskets on the other end. Managing to cut the lead to two with 5.9 seconds left, DeMar DeRozan had a chance to tie the game, but Jimmy Butler managed to deflect the ball out off him. Game over.

Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Kyle Lowry looked like he was the only Raptor that came to play for a large portion of the night. 33 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists. He is everything.
  • DeMar DeRozan's defence has regressed into a comical farce. He consistently gets beat on back-cuts and gambles far too often instead of playing sound, fundamental defence the scheme demands. I don't want to say any more about his offence tonight. He was fine. He usually is. But he can't be a glorified DH. He's not James Harden.
  • McDermott and Moore combined to go 16-for-22. Try not letting that happen, Toronto.
  • The Bulls, man. They were playing everyone down to their 13th/14th man and STILL came away with the win. Super disappointing for the Raptors to end the season 0-4 against Chicago.
  • I don't want to face Chicago in the playoffs.
  • Jonas Valanciunas is hopefully going to be okay.
I have nothing else to say about this one. Go nuts.