At some point during the Bulls’ seven-game win streak — I don’t remember exactly when — it was suggested they could make the playoffs as an unruly, upstart 8-seed. This is a cute notion, until we consider the disquieting other half of its implication.
OK, I change my mind, I do remember exactly when, and I do want to point fingers. (And it wasn’t during the Bulls 7-game win streak, but afterwards — still.) It happened right here, courtesy of our old nemesis, HP Basketball himself, Matt Moore:
Bulls gonna get an 8 seed in a tanking year— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) December 30, 2017
And beat the Raptors in the 1st round https://t.co/FWwDsdXOMp— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) December 30, 2017
The insinuating idea here, that this version of the Raptors, entering the playoffs as the top-seeded team in the conference for the first time in franchise history, would lose to these, frankly, disgusting Bulls, is offensive to me. I will not entertain such thoughts. If the Raptors do indeed scale past the flailing Celtics (not impossible) and the indifferent Cavaliers (definitely probable), they should be viewed as a competitive colossus, not rubble to be shovelled aside — and certainly not by the likes of these dang dumb Bulls. Good grief!
Phew, I am irate. Where was I? Oh, right — the Raptors have won three straight games against these Bulls and, contrary to some people’s opinion, are a vastly superior team.
Here’s the full preview for Raptors-Bulls, in which I worry about Kris Dunn, Nikola Mirotic, and Lauri Markkanen. What in the world?
Where to Watch
Sportsnet One, 8pm
Raptors - Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
Bulls - Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday, Denzel Valentine, Lauri Markkanen, Robin Lopez
Raptors - [echoing silence]
Bulls - Cameron Payne (foot), Zach LaVine (knee), Nikola Mirotic is also listed as probable with a back strain, but we’re all back straining, amirite?