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Well, this certainly is a surprising development, is it not? Coming into this season, Chicago and Cleveland were heavily favored to be the top two teams in the East. At this point in time, neither team is in the top two. Chalk it up to chemistry issues for Cleveland or a rocky reintegration of Rose into the lineup for Chicago, but Chicago and Cleveland are sitting at #4 and #5 in the East respectively. Who is #1 ? TORONTO?

Yes, the Raptors are red hot in the East, and while Golden State leads the league with a 22 - 3 starting pace that threatens the '97 Bulls 72 - 10 season record, Toronto is only 3 losses behind them at 22 - 6. Currently the Raptors enjoy a 6 game winning streak. They are 8 - 3 on the road, so don't look for them to be intimidated coming into the United Center. This is however, a back to back game for the Raptors, who are coming off a 118 - 108 home victory over the Knicks led by a 22pt, 4 reb, 9 ast effort from guard Kyle Lowry.

Can you imagine, just last year both fan bases of the Raptors and Bulls were talking about tanking? My what a year can do for a team.

PREVIEW: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/toronto-raptors-chicago-bulls-2014122204/

PREDICTION: L

Random Thibodeau Quote:
"Thank god for Jimmy Butler. Big shots, plays defense, gets to line, makes plays, plays unselfishly and hard. Doesn't take plays off."
Chicago Bulls (17 - 9)


PG: Derrick Rose | SG: Jimmy Butler | SF: Mike Dunleavy | PF: Pau Gasol | C: Joakim Noah

Injury Report:

SF: Doug McDermott - Knee


VS.


Toronto Raptors (22 - 6)


PG: Kyle Lowry | SG: Terrence Ross | SF: Landry Fields | PF: Amir Johnson | C: Jonas Valanciunas

Injury Report:

SG: DeMar DeRozan - Groin

---

GOOD LUCK CHARM:


Brought to you by the Every Rose Has Its Thorns (ERHIT) Commission
 

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Code:
Toronto Raptors (22-7)
field goalsrebounds
  	           pos 	min 	fgm-a 	3pm-a 	ftm-a 	+/- 	off 	def 	tot 	ast 	pf 	st 	to 	bs 	ba 	pts
J. Johnson 	F 	33:21 	7-10 	0-1 	2-2 	+2 	1 	1 	2 	1 	3 	4 	3 	2 	1 	16
A. Johnson 	F 	18:16 	1-6 	0-0 	0-0 	-2 	2 	2 	4 	1 	1 	0 	0 	0 	1 	2
J. Valanciunas 	C 	32:55 	8-18 	0-0 	4-6 	-12 	4 	5 	9 	0 	4 	0 	0 	0 	6 	20
T. Ross 	G 	35:06 	6-16 	5-11 	0-0 	-13 	1 	3 	4 	1 	6 	2 	2 	1 	0 	17
K. Lowry 	G 	36:39 	12-22 	4-8 	6-10 	-11 	2 	4 	6 	3 	5 	1 	1 	0 	1 	34
L. Williams 	  	26:01 	3-10 	0-4 	6-6 	-5 	0 	0 	0 	4 	4 	2 	0 	0 	3 	12
P. Patterson 	  	29:44 	5-10 	0-3 	2-4 	-7 	7 	2 	9 	0 	3 	1 	0 	0 	0 	12
G. Vasquez 	  	14:36 	1-7 	0-3 	0-0 	+2 	0 	0 	0 	4 	1 	0 	1 	0 	1 	2
T. Hansbrough 	  	05:23 	0-0 	0-0 	3-4 	+8 	0 	1 	1 	0 	1 	0 	0 	0 	0 	3
C. Hayes 	  	07:59 	1-1 	0-0 	0-0 	-7 	1 	1 	2 	1 	2 	0 	0 	0 	0 	2
B. Caboclo 	DNP - Coach's Decision
L. Nogueira 	DNP - Coach's Decision
G. Stiemsma 	DNP - Coach's Decision
Total 	  	240 	44-100 	9-30 	23-32 	  	18 	19 	37 	15 	30 	10 	7 	3 	13 	120
  	44.0% 	30.0% 	71.9% 	  	team rebs: 16 	total to: 8
Chicago Bulls (18-9)
field goalsrebounds
  	           pos 	min 	fgm-a 	3pm-a 	ftm-a 	+/- 	off 	def 	tot 	ast 	pf 	st 	to 	bs 	ba 	pts
M. Dunleavy 	F 	22:52 	1-4 	1-1 	0-0 	-6 	0 	1 	1 	2 	2 	0 	1 	2 	0 	3
P. Gasol 	F 	28:59 	2-7 	0-0 	10-10 	+6 	3 	6 	9 	3 	3 	0 	4 	3 	0 	14
J. Noah 	C 	30:25 	4-4 	0-0 	6-8 	+7 	0 	4 	4 	4 	2 	1 	3 	0 	0 	14
J. Butler 	G 	44:14 	7-16 	2-3 	11-11 	+14 	3 	8 	11 	4 	1 	1 	1 	5 	1 	27
D. Rose 	G 	30:52 	12-19 	0-3 	5-6 	+4 	0 	2 	2 	3 	1 	0 	2 	0 	0 	29
T. Gibson 	  	18:16 	5-10 	0-0 	0-0 	-5 	4 	3 	7 	1 	3 	1 	0 	2 	0 	10
K. Hinrich 	  	21:07 	1-2 	1-2 	0-0 	+6 	0 	2 	2 	1 	2 	0 	3 	0 	0 	3
A. Brooks 	  	24:55 	6-10 	1-2 	4-4 	+9 	1 	1 	2 	2 	2 	1 	1 	1 	2 	17
N. Mirotic 	  	18:20 	2-2 	1-1 	7-8 	+10 	1 	2 	3 	0 	4 	0 	0 	0 	0 	12
C. Bairstow 	DNP - Coach's Decision
N. Mohammed 	DNP - Coach's Decision
E. Moore 	DNP - Coach's Decision
T. Snell 	DNP - Coach's Decision
Total 	  	240 	40-74 	6-12 	43-47 	  	12 	29 	41 	20 	20 	4 	15 	13 	3 	129
  	54.1% 	50.0% 	91.5% 	  	team rebs: 9 	total to: 16
 

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49 point 4th quarter. Great win. Not a lot of defense... Valanciunas and Lowry gave us big problems at various points. When we decide to go with Brooks for long stretches we really turn into a hope-to-outscore-you type of team.
 
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