Apr 12, 2023 - Sports

How to fake it: Bulls face Raptors in play-in tournament

Photo of two basketball players smiling on court

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan and guard Zach LaVine. Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It's not the 1995/96 Bulls, nor even the 2010/11 Bulls, but tonight we'll cheer on a sub-.500 basketball team that barely made the playoffs.

What's happening: The Bulls face off against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Play-In Tournament starting at 6pm.

Why it matters: If the Bulls lose, they go home. If they win, they get to travel to Miami for yet another do-or-die game to advance in the playoffs.

State of play: You may find yourself at a party watching this pivotal matchup but uncertain about what to say.

  • So let me arm you with some quips and fun facts if the conversation flows your way.

The basics: The last time a Bulls team with a losing record made the postseason was 1985/1986.

  • Throw out some factoids like, "Didn't Jordan score 63 points against the Celtics in those playoffs?"
  • The party now respects you.

Star talk: The biggest storyline for this game is DeMar DeRozan. The Bulls forward used to be a star for the Raptors.

  • "Anyone can be loved in Toronto. They're so nice in Canada." Could get you a quick chuckle.

The new guy: Patrick Beverley is the newest addition to this Bulls team. Since he joined last month, the Bulls have looked slightly better. He's a Chicago product and infectious on the court. He's also prone to dirty plays.

  • Hit em with a, "It feels like a 10-point, two-technical night for Pat Bev," and the party will know that you belong.

Big finish: Finally, there's a good chance this could be the end for our 2022-23 Bulls.

  • If that's the case, go with, "I'm going to go home and delete all my Drake tracks. Who am I kidding? I don't have any Drake tracks!" The party goes wild.

If they don't lose: Say, "Let's win Friday in Miami so we can get swept by the Bucks! Go Bulls!"

Thought bubble: For real, the Bulls are out-sized in this matchup. So expect the Bulls to run in transition. It's gotta be a huge night for Zach if the Bulls want to escape Toronto with a win.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Chicago stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more