Present day situations of both teams be damned, few things are as cathartic as watching the Raptors beat the tar out the Bulls. In a way, it’s even more satisfying to watch this uber-talented Toronto squad crush this injured, directionless, Wayne Selden-starting ass Bulls team than it would have been if they were standing on similar ground. Maybe that sounds a little sick. But the torment the Bulls wrought upon the Raptors’ house for nearly half a decade engendered enough sports hate in my soul to make me okay with the kind of outright exertion of power upon the weak we saw in the Raptors 112-103 win over the Bulls Tuesday night.
Outside of extending their run of wins over Chicago to eight (crazy, right?), Toronto checked off all the things you’re hoping to see from the team as it kills time before the games matter again.
No horrific injures: check! At least, I think. OG took an elbow from a person called Brandon Sampson, who is not a real person, with 4ish minutes left in the game and walked off a little woozy. Best wishes to OG.
The starters looking good and comfortable together: hell yeah! All but Siakam finished with positive double-digit plus/minus marks.
Minutes management? No one played more than 30. Good on ya, Nick.
Other than those key benchmarks, there is really no need to dive into the particulars of this game. It was entirely the result you’d expect from a game between a the fully healthy, trying Raptors and the injury-crippled, tanking Bulls. Instead of boring you with talk of defensive execution and the ups and downs of the Bulls’ deficit, which fluctuated between 10 and 20 all night, here are the tweets that best sum up what happened at Scotiabank Arena.
while the playoffs have an air of intensity and stakes they sure do not provide an environment in which jack can talk about getting boozed up on the broadcast in the 2nd quarter— Sean Woodley (@WoodleySean) March 27, 2019
Ben Uzoh and Solomon Alabi could get minutes on this team.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) March 27, 2019
The Raptors' defense right now could be diplomatically described as "disinterested".— Anthony Doyle (@Anthonysmdoyle) March 27, 2019
Siakam hitting Lowry on the leakout is a delightful turn of events.— Matt Shantz (@m_shantz) March 27, 2019
Kawhi has been especially locked in on the defensive end tonight. His 6 steals (in just 16 minutes) tie a season-high and he needs 1 more to match his career-high.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 27, 2019
OG takes a hard fall after trying to draw a charge (he got called for the block). He was down for a while, holding his head, and slow to get up. Now he's headed for the locker room looking dazed and confused.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 27, 2019
Jim Boylan sees a teachable moment in a 13-point game with 1:17 left and I think I hate him as much as his players do now.— (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) March 27, 2019
While tonight’s game was beyond analysis, it was still a quirky sort of fun! The team may be in run out the clock mode, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy this season’s garbage time. Things like Chris Boucher chase down blocks and Jack Armstrong drinking tales and arena-wide “BRUNO!” chants happen in otherwise meaningless moments. What’s beautiful about basketball is that joy can be derived from even the lowest leverage moments. Norm Powell had 20 points on 8-of-10 from field. Siakam swapped jobs with Lowry to hit his point guard with a gorgeous outlet bounce-pass at one point, too. Those parts of the game were cool.
With an upcoming schedule littered with opponents that ain’t very good, it’s those little moments of bliss this team can conjure that Raps fans will have to hang on to and cherish until the playoffs get going.