The second day of the NBA Play-in Tournament continues on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Chicago Bulls will take on the Toronto Raptors for a chance to meet the Miami Heat in a do-or-die game on Friday.
The matchup will be on national TV via ESPN.
At 9:30 p.m. ET, the OKC Thunder will square off against the New Orleans Pelicans. The losers will start their offseason while the winner will go on to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday in a win-or-go home game.
Similar to the first game, ESPN will also air the matchup live on national TV.
The Chicago Bulls’ revival on the road will be tested against the Toronto Raptors
Before March 1, the Chicago Bulls had a dismal 10-21 record when they were playing away from the United Center. Since then, they’ve gone 8-2, the best in the NBA during that stretch. Among their victims were the LA Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets.
Zach LaVine has been putting up All-Star-level numbers over his last 20 games. He is averaging 26.8 PPG, 4.9 APG and 3.5 RPG. The high-flying shooting guard is hitting 52.0% of his shots, including 37.8% from rainbow distance.
LaVine struggled a bit to start the season as he was nursing a knee injury. The Bulls have been fortunate the two-time NBA All-Star has regained his form.
The Toronto Raptors will counter with Pascal Siakam, who is averaging 24.2 PPG, 7.8 rebounds and 5.8 APG. Siakam deservedly made it to his second NBA All-Star team. He will be the biggest thorn in Chicago’s side on Wednesday night.
A key stat to watch out for with the Raptors will be bench scoring. Toronto is ranked second-worst in the league in this category with only 28.0 PPG. Nick Nurse’s starters will have to be on song or they could go home against the Chicago Bulls.
The OKC Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans hope to extend their seasons with a big-time win
Two of the most surprising teams in the NBA this season are headed for a showdown on Wednesday night. The OKC Thunder, who many thought would not make it this far, will take on the Zion Williamson-less New Orleans Pelicans.
Last year, the Pelicans barged into the playoffs via the play-in Tournament. They didn’t have Williamson back then and will not have him again. New Orleans is used to adversity without the talented but oft-injured NBA superstar.
Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum will lead the Pelicans in Williamson’s absence.
Meanwhile, the OKC Thunder have been showing their resilience all season long. They missed the injured Chet Holmgren but have surprised many behind NBA All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort and Jalen Williams.
Oklahoma is young but they are gritty and hard-nosed. They will relish the chance to end the Pelicans’ season.