Bulls-Raptors Preview

Mentally, the Chicago Bulls are feeling good about their recent


Physically, Derrick Rose is not doing as well.

The Bulls hope to have the banged-up All-Star in the lineup as

they try to extend their season-high winning streak to seven games

Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada


Averaging career highs with 24.7 points and 8.3 assists, Rose

had 17 and 12 in Monday’s 92-73 win over Indiana. However, he fell

hard after making contact with the Pacers’ Brandon Rush while

driving to the basket in the fourth quarter.

Though X-rays on his wrist were negative, Rose hopes to play

while continuing to deal with a sprained right wrist, bruised right

elbow and sore right hip.

“He’s a little nicked up,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.

“He’s got a little soreness in the elbow and a little soreness in

the wrist. If he says he can play, he’ll play.”

Rose, averaging 22.0 points on 57.4-percent shooting and 8.0

assists in four career games at Toronto, is confident he’ll be on

the floor Wednesday.

“If it’s up to me, I’m going,” Rose said. “If it’s sore, usually

I can play through soreness. Hopefully I’ll be playing


If he is unable to go, C.J. Watson will start at point guard.

With Rose out with a sore neck, Watson scored 33 points in a 98-97

loss at Denver on Nov. 26.

With or without their star guard, the Bulls (15-8) appear to

have a good chance for their first seven-game winning streak since

Nov. 25-Dec. 8, 2008.

Chicago’s opponents have averaged 88.0 points on 39.6-percent

shooting over the last six games. Monday’s contest marked the third

straight in which the Bulls held their opponent to a season-worst

scoring total.

“They’re a really good defensive team,” Indiana guard Mike

Dunleavy said.

The Bulls limited the Raptors to 41.1 percent from the field in

a 104-88 win at Toronto in the teams’ most recent meeting April


Carlos Boozer, who had 22 points and 18 rebounds against the

Pacers, has averaged 23.3 and 13.0 in his last seven games versus

Toronto. He’s averaging 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in eight games

since missing the first month with a broken hand.

“You can really see his timing coming back,” Thibodeau said.

Boozer’s surge could continue that success against a Raptors

club that allows 105.2 points per contest.

Toronto (9-16) played better defensively Tuesday but fell for

the fifth time in six games, 97-91 at Charlotte.

After rallying from 25 points down and shooting a season-high

62.9 percent in a 120-116 win at Detroit on Saturday for the

largest comeback victory in franchise history, the Raptors made

40.4-percent of their shots and committed 19 turnovers against the


“It’s real frustrating,” said swingman DeMar DeRozan, who had

14 points Tuesday. “Teams these days are too good, and when you

turn over the ball, it’s a good chance they will go down and make

something happen.”

Jerryd Bayless had 17 points with nine assists after scoring 31

against the Pistons.

The Raptors could be without point guard Jose Calderon for a

fourth consecutive game because of a sore left foot.