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Game Against Raptors A Must Win For Bulls

The fact that the Bulls are still in the playoff picture is quite amazing to say the least. With a rash of injuries and a 10-game losing streak at one point, the Bulls probably shouldn't even be within sniffing distance of post-season play. The Raptors have allowed the Bulls to stay in the hunt losing their last few games due to an injury to All-Star forward Chris Bosh. Despite losses to the Bucks and the Nets, the Bulls are tied with the Raptors for the last spot in the conference at 38-41 with three games remaining.

If the Bulls are to make it to the playoffs they have to win this game because the Raptors would own the tiebreaker if the teams finish with the same records at the end of the season. The key to a Bulls victory today has to be Derrick Rose. With Bosh out for the Raptors, Rose has to step up in a major way today. There are very few teams that can stop Rose from penetrating and the Raptors' defense will not be as effective without Bosh in the lineup. Another key to victory for Chicago has to be consistency on both ends of the floor. Against the Bucks the Bulls jumped out to a 27-14 lead after the 1st quarter but managed only 45 points the rest of the way in an ugly 79-72 loss. In the double-overtime loss to the Nets, The Bulls blew a seven-point lead in the first OT and only managed four points in second overtime period.

The Bulls are a decent team but they cannot afford to go long stretches without scoring and still be able to win games against the better teams in the league. The Bulls are capable of winning this game but they have to play hard for all four quarters and limit the amount of turnovers. If they play their game on offense and get key stops down the stretch, this game is will be there for the Bulls' taking. However, if they turn in a lackluster effort, they will not only lose this game but also any chance of making the playoffs as well.

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