James Johnson was traded to the Raptors the day before his now former team was set to hit Toronto. The Raptors have had there share of surprising this year none maybe more surprising than a 118-113 win over the Bulls. That game also marked the return of Joakim Noah to the Bulls line-up. The Bull will be home at the United Center tonight and if the carrot of first in the East was not enough motivation remembering that embarrassing loss for the Bulls will add to the motivation. It was the worst defensive performance of the season for the Bulls and it is unlikely we see a repeat performance. The Raptors have lost 5 straight after another shocking win over one of the NBA's best in the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Basics: Raptors 20-54 (1-7 on Saturdays) Bulls 55-20 (16-12 all time vs Raps in Chicago)
When Last We Saw Them: Raptors had a decent effort but at home vs the Bucks but as has often been the case they faded late and the Bucks got a win to keep their fading playoff hopes alive. Bargnani and DeRozan combined for 42 while Barbosa had 18 off the bench. But it was not enough as Bucks won 104-98.
Key Match-ups: For maybe the first time in his career Jose Calderon actually help his own against Derrick Rose. But Calderon is not with the team and will not go tonight, and it will be Jerryd Bayless having to deal with most peoples choice to be MVP of the NBA. If that is not enough you have Boozer and Noah to deal with down low. It is going to be a tough task for the Raptors.
Other Things of Note: Raptors are a dreadful 2-14 in first game of back to backs as they will return home to face the Magic tomorrow. Bulls lead the all time series between these two teams 31-28 and lead the season series 2-1. Raptors since acquiring Johnson the Raptors are 5-12. Also Danielle who writes the NBA Segments in the blog has left our staff. I thank her for her contributions to the Dino Nation Blog. I will be taking over the segments moving forward along with Ryan who remains on staff.
Where is it on: Sportsnet 1 (Jays are off to 2-0 start so the post game show may still be going on from their win today over the Twins. A winning team in Toronto what a foreign concept.)