3 Highs and 3 Lows from Bulls loss to Toronto Raptors

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: DeMar DeRozan /

Although a disappointing effort from the majority of the team, there were a few bright spots in the team’s loss. Here are the 3 highs and lows.

From a fans perspective, this was not the best game to attend. From the beginning tip off, the Chicago Bulls were clearly outmatched in talent against the Toronto Raptors. Rookie Lauri Markkanen had to start earlier than expected after forward Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic got into a scuffle earlier in the week, leading to Portis being suspended and Mirotic with broken bones in his face. Defensively, the team did not look great, giving up 117 points total. As expected, Robin Lopez lead the team in points in rebounds. Lauri chipped in 17 points in his first career start.

3 Highs

Markannen’s moves lead to 17

Back in June, the Bulls front office made the decision to trade Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and the 7th overall pick. With that pick, the Bulls drafted Arizona alumni Lauri Markannen. Projected to be a key part of the Bulls rebuild, nobody thought Lauri would be starting the 1st game of the season. Fans were right to be nervous, after all, Markannen missed some of the preseason with an injury. The 7 foot Finnish player could be one of the bright spots for a lowly Chicago Bulls team this season.

Denzel dominating from 3

After playing sparingly in his rookie year, the former Michigan State star is expected to take on a bigger role this season, now that Jimmy Butler, Rondo, and Wade are all gone. Last season, in 17 minutes averaged across 51 games, Valentine scored 5.1 ppg with a 35.1% from three point land. Against the Raptors, Denzel pulled out the three ball, surprising many fans, and coaches. Shooting 4-7 will likely not happen every game, but if he can consistently shoot the 3 ball, he could become a key rotation piece.

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Felder flashes in limited minutes

For now, the backup point guard duties belong to Kay Felder, that is until Kris Dunn returns from injury. Looking to prove a point, Felder showed the Bulls that he could be future backup over Jerian Grant. In only 15 minutes of game action, Kay scored 6 points along with 6 assists.

3 Lows

Turnover turmoil

For the Chicago Bulls to have any semblance of success in 2017, the turnover number will have to be kept in check. In the 2016-2017 season, the Bulls ranked 11th in fewest turnovers given up, just over 13 per game. Against the Raptor, the team turned the ball over 19 times, leading to 27 points by the Raptors. With a team full of young, inexperienced players, this may be a common sight this season for the Bulls.

Interior defense in trouble

For a team built on size, the Bulls do not put fear in many teams eyes. The Raptors routinely forced the ball inside, and more specifically to Jonas Valanciunas, leading to 23 points for the big man. Lauri Markannen may be a rookie, but this is the NBA, there is no place for someone who is going to let their opponent score on them time and time again.

Missing Mirotic

There is no question about it, the Chicago Bulls will dearly miss the presence of forward Nikola Mirotic. Despite all the hate that Mirotic gets from fans, he is by far the Bulls best 3 point shooter on this roster. Last season, he shot 35 percent from three. Against the Raptors, the team shot an awful 31.3%, with Justin Holiday chucking up miss after miss for some reason.

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Get ready Bulls fans, this is going to be a long season. At least when Zach Lavine gets back from an ACL injury mid season there will be some exciting moments. There are many things that the Chicago Bulls need to do in order to win games, tonight just happened to be a bad night. Check out the team on Saturday in the home opener against the San Antonio Spurs.