Toronto Raptors: Three takeaways from easy win vs Chicago Bulls

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After a tightly contested first quarter, the Toronto Raptors pulled away to beat the Chicago Bulls in relatively easy fashion. What were the game’s biggest takeaways?

It’s never easy to win on the road in the NBA. Winning the second half of a back-to-back is even more difficult. The Toronto Raptors convincing win against the Chicago Bulls was more impressive victory than you’d otherwise think.

The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair with both teams looking a little sloppy. But at the risk of falling to 1-2, Toronto turned it on from that point on. The Raptors outscored the Bulls by seven in the second quarter and took an eight-point lead to the half. By the start of the fourth, the lead was 20 and the game was decided.

Toronto dominated defensively in this game, holding the Bulls to below 30-percent from the field on the night. Offensively, they looked a little sloppy but did enough to get the job done.

What did we learn from the Raptors’ easy win? There were a couple of things that stuck out.

OG oh my

You could not have asked for a better game out of OG Anunoby. The third-year forward was a menace from behind the arc and at the rim. He’s been an impact player through three games and is looking much more like the rookie who played an integral role on a 59-win team than the player who floated in-and-out of importance last season.

Defensively, OG looks locked in, particularly off the ball. He’s been an impactful help defender, showcased by his three blocks tonight. His first rejection of Thaddeus Young displayed a great sense of both awareness and explosion as he picked the perfect time to leave his man, Zach LaVine, in the corner before erasing Thaddeus Young at the rim.

On the other end of the court, OG is sticking to what he does best. He went 7-11 on the night, but it’s his shot distribution which is most notable. Anunoby finished with three 3s and four dunks. His shot chart looked like a Daryl Morey wet dream.

OG made several beautiful off-ball cuts leading to easy catch-and-finish opportunities at the hoop. He knows he doesn’t need to put up a high volume of looks or generate his own offense off the dribble; he needs to be efficient and take shots in the flow of the offense. That’s exactly what he did tonight.