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NBA: OCT 17 Raptors at Bulls Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Toronto Raptors vs Chicago Bulls: Injury Updates, TV Schedule, Match Up

The Toronto Raptors are looking to return to .500, but expect a familiar friend/foe to spoil that plan.

The Toronto Raptors are back home after a Jekyll-and-Hyde road trip in Orlando and Indiana, and they are hosting the Chicago Bulls tonight to do two things: get back to .500 and exact revenge on the humiliating loss to the hands of DeMar DeRozan and the Bulls earlier this season.

Despite a slow start, Pascal Siakam is now averaging 20.3 points, seven boards, and 5.1 dimes per game, as coach Darko Rajakovic’s done a better job putting the ball in his hands lately more often than not. Siakam had another dominant performance against the Indiana Pacers, posting 36 points and 10 boards.

The counting stats have slowed down a bit, but there’s no denying that Scottie Barnes is having a breakout season. He’s almost averaging 20/10/6 while making a big jump with his perimeter shooting, hitting 38.2% from behind the arc this season.

Coach Rajakovic should be able to find ways to unleash the two-headed monster in Siakam and Barnes against the 5-11 Bulls. Barnes had a dominant triple-double on their first meeting, posting 22 points, ten boards, and ten dimes. Siakam came alive a little bit in the second half, but perhaps the late-game drama could have been avoided if Rajakovic had been able to find him within his offence the entire game.

Malachi Flynn is the reigning, undisputed Raptors chain holder after his season-best performance against the Pacers, where he came up big off the bench, posting 14 points, four boards, and two dimes. The Raptors will need performances like that from their bench, especially with Gary Trent Jr. having an up-and-mostly-down season off the bench so far. Gradey Dick earned his first DNP against the Pacers, as the Raptors are looking to develop their young players.

The Raptors need to take care of the ball as the Bulls lead the NBA in points off turnovers while ranking second in steals. That’s not a good number to see, as the Raptors turn the ball over 15.5 times per game, and if we remember how the game went last October, it was a series of comedic errors that cost them the game.

Raptors old friend DeMar DeRozan is averaging 23 points, 4.8 boards, 4.4 dimes and 100 fouls drawn in eight games as a Bull against the Raptors, and since the game is Canada, expect him to be on seek-and-destroy mode even more.

Hopefully, O.G. Anunoby can play a full game, as his early exit during their first meeting proved fatal for the Raptors. Anunoby held DeRozan to 1-for-7 shooting before exiting the game early in the fourth period. Since then, DeRozan went Jordan-mode and exploded for 22 points to help the Bulls steal the game in OT.

Precious Achiuwa is questionable for tonight’s game due to knee soreness. At the same time, Christian Koloko’s debut will have to wait as he remains out due to his respiratory issue. Thaddeus Young is questionable as well due to an illness. The Two-Way contract players are out for this game, with Ron Harper Jr. as the only one considered “healthy” based on how the past few days have turned out. Harper Jr. made a cameo in garbage time the previous game and played on the last Raptors 905 game earlier this week. Javon Freeman-Liberty hasn’t seen action since injuring his ankle at the 905’s first game, while Markquis Nowell’s out due to a bruised rib.

On the Bulls front, Lonzo Ball is out for the season. At the same time, Coby White (ankle) and Zach Lavine (knee) are both questionable due to soreness — with Lavine missing their previous game against the OKC Thunder, so expect them to put up big numbers tonight.

How to Watch:

TSN at 7:30 p.m. ET

Lineups:

Toronto: Dennis Schroder, Pascal Siakam, O.G. Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl

Chicago: Coby White, DeMar DeRozan, Zach Lavine, Patrick Williams, Nikola Vucevic

Injuries:

Toronto: Christian Koloko (Out - Respiratory), Thaddeus Young (Questionable - Illness), Precious Achiuwa (Questionable - Knee)

Chicago: Lonzo Ball (Out - Knee), Coby White (Questionable - Ankle), Zach Lavine (Questionable - Knee)

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