There was not only the All-Star Game tonight but also some great encounters to watch. A small Raptors-Bulls for example? Clearly, this was a show not to be missed.
For the house stats of this new thriller, it’s right here.
The Heat having won in the opening night, the Bulls had to win to protect their first place and give Billy Donovan a better chance of coaching the All-Stars on February 20. For that, it was necessary to impose itself in hostile territory because the Raptors are far from being easy prey for a few weeks. Victorious in four of their last five games, Nick Nurse’s proteges were on a roll and they also wanted to celebrate Fred VanVleet’s first star, while paying for an Eastern Conference headliner. Successful mission for the darlings of Drake but it was far from easy. It took a collective effort at all times to get the upper hand on tenacious Bulls who came within two seconds of victory. Unfortunately for them, a certain Scottie Barnes went through it and he left a small mimine to send all these beautiful people into overtime. Overtime, a scenario that Toronto is starting to know well. After a triple rab from the South Beach side, they were not going to back down for another five minutes against Chicago. The hero is once again called Gary Trent Jr. but the human torch of the Raptors did not need to exceed 30 pawns this time, he just had to pull out the dagger at the right time to finish off the Bulls. Before that, the monstrous Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby and the solid Chris Boucher had already started the horned beast while Fred VanVleet honored his new status with a solid performance.
The Canadians therefore offer themselves a fourth victory in five games and all the lights seem to be green at the moment for them. The starting five may well pile up the kilometers evening after evening, it continues to fuel with the same level. The offensive responsibilities are well shared (4 players with more than 20 points) and this makes it possible to compensate for any evenings without each other. With this new win, Toronto even offers seventh place for the Hornets and can clearly hope to return to the Nets in free fall. For that, it will be necessary to count on this good recent confidence and to continue. The rest of the program promises to be very hardcore for Vince Carter’s heart franchise. After the reception of the Hawks this Friday, they will play eight times outside in nine games! A good big road trip which promises to be capital because there will be clashes against direct competitors for the Playoffs (Hornets x2, Brooklyn, Hawks). In the meantime, the All-Star Break should offer a well-deserved cool break. A crucial moment before attacking the big run at the end of the season and Nick Nurse is well aware that he will have to get back into the fight. From what we saw tonight, the Dinos look ready to charge into the trench.
Toronto continues against the Bulls and goes up a notch in the Eastern Conference. Fred VanVleet has nabbed his star, the dynamics of the Raptors are good, the collective responds as one man: no matter how hard we searched, we can’t find any dark clouds on the horizon.