The undermanned Raptors faced a daunting challenge with four veteran contributors out against the banged-up, but still loaded Bulls and their response wasn't enough right from the opening tip.
With their youngest starting lineup ever on the floor, the Raptors were overmatched by the streaking Central Division leaders from the jump, as they fell behind early and saw that deficit balloon to 17 by halftime. They were down by as much as 29 in the third, which was cut down to 12 points late with the reserves in, but this was a tough wire-to-wire loss.
Carlos Boozer was an offensive terror on Wednesday, using his arsenal of post-up moves to abuse any defender in his way. Boozer got to take the fourth quarter off, but still finished with a season-high 34 points (13-17 shooting), with 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals a block and just one turnover.
"Carlos is terrific," said Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau post-game. "He can score in so many different ways. He does it in transition, does it in the post, he does it off the pick-and-roll, he does it off catch-and-shoot, so he's a tough matchup."
The Raptors turned to Joey Dorsey on Wednesday and the big man delivered career-highs in points (12), rebounds (13), minutes (29) along with field goals made (five) and attempted (eight). He also matched his single-game mark for assists plus blocks with two apiece and on a night wtih very few positives, he made a positive impression on his coach.
"I thought he really had a nose for the basketball, which is great," said Jay Triano. "He chased it and that was something we were lacking and he went into the game and changed the game a little bit because of it."
"It's tough. We knew that going into the game. We have to develop these guys, they have to play in this situation and it was good to give Ed (Davis) his first start. Amir (Johnson) didn't have one of his better games. This is a part of what we are trying to do is keep these guys going, develop them and make them better basketball players. You get a test when you go up against some of the better basketball teams, this is one of the better teams in the East."
- Jay Triano, on the growth process needed.
Fri., Dec. 17 vs. Nets
7:00 PM ET, TSN, FAN590
The Raptors get their first look of the season at the rebuilding Nets on Friday. New Jersey is fresh off a three-team deal that saw them send second-year swingman Terrence Williams to Houston and Joe Smith to the Lakers in exchange for guard Sasha Vujacic and two first-round picks. The Raptors swept the season series with the Nets last season (4-0) and have won the last five meetings overall.
|22, 239||Average age (days, years) of Toronto's starting five on Wed., the youngest in franchise history|
|62||Points in the paint for Chicago vs. 46 for Toronto|
|32||Fast break points for the Raptors, vs. 23 for Chicago|
|33-24||Rebounding differential favouring the Bulls|
|42-33||Bench scoring favouring the Raptors|
|“It's embarassing. It's just embarassing. I don't like it and I'm not used to it and it's not something I'm going to stand for."|
- Jerryd Bayless, on the tough loss
|"We did some good things for three quarters. Fourth quarter, we have to do better. It was a good win."|
- Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau on resting his starters
|"It was like a dream come true. When you're a kid, you dream of things like this and it just happened. After that, it's just another basketball game."|
- Ed Davis, on his first career start