(CTN News) – It’s finally here after last night’s first postseason action. As part of the play-in tournament, the Chicago Bulls face the Toronto Raptors in the first round.
It’s impossible to say how far they’ll go unless they win here, but focusing in and playing every game like it’s their last (because it could be) is the task that every member of the roster needs to be focused on.
It’s possible the media doesn’t like the Bulls tonight. The bookies in Vegas don’t either. Even my own colleagues at FanSided are skeptical, but that doesn’t matter now. By winning the play-in tournament, the Bulls can make all the lows of this season all worth it.
Patrick Beverley starts the road to being crowned best player in play-in tournament history tonight.
Are Chicago’s ‘Big 3’ available tonight?
In both Dallas and Detroit, Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan did not play, but that appears to be nothing more than precautionary measures. DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Zach LaVine are all available for Chicago in Toronto tonight. The team will be put to the test, because we will see whether they are ready to compete on a national level.
With two years left on DeRozan’s contract, the Big 3’s performance tonight could make a big difference in the front office’s decision-making this summer.
Depending on how the Bulls do, the Big 3 might stay. This could be the last game we see these three play together if they don’t.
The full injury report for the Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors on April 12
This should go without saying, but Chicago will be without their main playmaker in Lonzo Ball, who is out for tonight’s game. Luckily, he’s the only Bulls player out tonight. In the wake of Chicago’s ever-spinning carousel of role players off the bench, it’s nice to know they’ve got (almost) all their tools for this big game.
Over the last 15 years, injuries have often determined this franchise’s postseason prospects, so fans should sigh with relief at this news.
Javonte Green and Alex Caruso could be big boons for the Bulls tonight, especially with this year’s roster’s emphasis on bench play and depth.
Are the Toronto Raptors likely to be at full strength for tonight’s play-in game?
Like the Bulls, the Raptors appear to be prepared to participate in the play-in tournament and reach their maximum capacity. One of their players is injured, Otto Porter Jr., who underwent season-ending surgery on his left foot in January.
There has been ample time for Toronto to adapt since then, and they should have no problems dealing with the established chemistry on the court when game time arrives.
As the injury reports are virtually blank, neither team can make any excuses for tonight’s game. For the Bulls, it’s do-or-die time. Will they be able to save their season? Watch the show at 7 p.m. Eastern Time to find out.