It’s a fun night in the NBA. With the league encouraging people to get out and vote in Tuesday’s midterm elections in the United States, a full suite of games are scheduled for Monday — with all 30 teams in action and games starting 15 minutes apart. With no games tomorrow, it’s a perfect opportunity to melt into the couch and channel surf some hoops.
For the Toronto Raptors, tonight’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls is one of the marquee League Pass games on the schedule. After Toronto got a 113-104 win on Sunday afternoon, all eyes are once again on a matchup of former teammates as DeMar DeRozan and Fred VanVleet — freshly returned from missing three games with back soreness — carry the offensive load for their respective teams.
The Bulls will have a new ingredient in the stew, though, as Zach LaVine returns after sitting Sunday out for “injury maintenance” — that new, Adam Silver-friendly term for rest. LaVine has averaged 20.7 points per game this season, joining DeRozan as the only Bull over 20 PPG, and his streaky scoring ability was on display last week against the Nets, when he dropped 20 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to bring Chicago back for a win.
The Raptors, of course, will once again be navigating tonight without Pascal Siakam — who still has two weeks before re-evaluation on a groin injury. Khem Birch will also be out again dealing with knee soreness.
The recipe for Toronto’s success without their best player remains much the same: get out and run, play great defense, and force Chicago to make mistakes. It’ll also be fascinating to see if Christian Koloko can be as good in his role as he was on Sunday, where his six blocks (along with 11 points and seven boards) and activity level when matched up with Nikola Vucevic threw a 7’1” wrench in the Bulls game plan.
Where to watch:
TSN, 8:45 PM ET
Toronto Raptors — Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Christian Koloko
Chicago Bulls — Ayo Dosunmu, DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams, Nikola Vucevic
Toronto Raptors — Khem Birch (knee soreness – out), Pascal Siakam (groin – out)
Chicago Bulls — Coby White (quad – out), Lonzo Ball (knee – out), Andre Drummond (shoulder – out)