Bulls Vs. Raptors Preview: Bulls Look To Keep Lead Over Heat

Mar 14, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard John Lucas (15) celebrates after scoring a three-point shot in the first half against the Miami Heat at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Bulls break out their passports as they head to north to take on the lowly Raptors.

With the Chicago Bulls still severely banged up, and with the Miami Heat hot on their heels for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls could use a game against the Toronto Raptors. Well, how about two? The Bulls will head to Toronto for the first game of a de facto home-and-home (Toronto will be in the Windy City on Saturday) without Richard Hamilton and, barring a total surprise, without Derrick Rose. But, Luol Deng and C.J. Watson will be in the line up, and the Bulls have shown the ability to play well in Rose's absence.

The Raptors are on a two game losing streak, but their talented backcourt could cause some problems for the Bulls if Watson or John Lucas III has an off-night. The Bulls held the Raptors to 64 points in their last meeting (a 77-64 victory), and that defensive intensity won't change even though they're likely to be without Rose on Wednesday night. And with two days off before they meet Toronto again, they certainly won't be overlooking our neighbors to the north.

Game date/time: Wednesday, March 21, 6:00 p.m. CT

Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada

TV: The U

Odds: Chicago by 7.5

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Bulls, head over to Blog a Bull, and for more on the Raptors, visit Raptors HQ. Stick with SB Nation's NBA news hub for notes and analysis from around the league.


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