Five Things to Watch: Bulls return home to face struggling Raptors on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls return home to face struggling Raptors on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Raptors tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

1. Home, sweet home. Yes, the Bulls' road trip didn't go according to plan thanks to a handful of injuries. But the good news is they have returned home where they're 15-11. True, they've won just four of their last eight at the United Center, but one of those was a thrilling overtime victory over these Raptors.

2. Catching the Raptors at the right time. The Raptors are a very good basketball team, let's get that out of the way. But if there was ever a good chance to host them, it's right now. Since they were 28-13 on Jan. 17 and nipping at the Cavs' heels for first in the East, Dwane Casey's squad has gone just 4-10 and fallen back to fourth in the conference. Those losses include four of their last six, with three coming against teams currently below .500. 

3. Dominance against Toronto. For as good ast the Raptors have been the last three seasons, the Bulls have absolutely had their number. Chicago has incredibly won the last 10 meetings against Toronto, with the Raptors last topping the Bulls on Dec. 31, 2013! One has to wonder if there's some sort of mental block going on at this point with Toronto, but for whatever reason the Bulls have owned this matchup. Will it continue Tuesday?

4. Jimmy Butler's fellow All-Star starter. DeMar DeRozan is back after missing seven of eight games, and he's gotten back to his usual stellar scoring ways. In three games since returning he's averaging 29.0 points on 49 percent shooting, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He's showed no rust, playing nearly 38 minutes per night in those games. He'll need to do the same against Jimmy Butler if the Bulls' All-Star plays.

5. Will trade talks bother the Bulls? Reports surfaced on Monday night that the Bulls were reportedly shopping Doug McDermott and Robin Lopez in exchange for a first-round pick. This comes after Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson trade rumors, and one has to wonder how much this will start affecting the team with just 10 days until the deadline. Of note, the Raptors are one team that make plenty of sense as a destination for Gibson.

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BullsTalk Podcast: Latest on Jahlil Okafor, Jimmy Butler trade rumors

BullsTalk Podcast: Latest on Jahlil Okafor, Jimmy Butler trade rumors

On this edition of the BullsTalk Podcast Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill and Vincent Goodwill recap the Bulls' 2-4 road trip.

Vincent has the latest on the Jahlil Okafor trade talks and the guys discuss what moves they would like to see from the Bulls before the trade deadline.

CSN New England's A. Sherrod Blakely joins the podcast to discuss the possibility of a Jimmy Butler to Boston trade. Both the Bulls and Celtics have former college coaches – Blakely tells us why he thinks Brad Stevens had success, whereas Fred Hoiberg has found NBA life difficult.

Then the guys recap their favorite All-Star memories and look forward to this weekend's game.

Listen to the full episode here or in the embedded player below:

Road Ahead: Bulls return home to close out first half of season

Road Ahead: Bulls return home to close out first half of season

Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill and Will Perdue preview the Bulls' upcoming home games against the Raptors and Celtics on this edition of the Bulls Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.

After ending their six-game road trip with a thud in Minnesota, the Bulls return home to close out the first half of the season this week. 

Ending their current three-game losing streak won't be an easy task, though, as a pair of Eastern Conference contenders hit the United Center floor. First up, the Toronto Raptors, who currently sit at No. 4 in the playoff standings, head to town for a Valentine's Day matchup. The Bulls have shown little love for the Raptors recently, beating them nine straight times. 

The Bulls then get set to face Isaiah Thomas and the red-hot Celtics Thursday night before getting a much needed All-Star break. Unfortunately for the injury-riddled Bulls, their chances of picking up two crucial wins before All-Star weekend may be directly tied to the health of Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade. The top scoring threats both sat out Sunday afternoon's game against the Timberwolves, resulting in a 117-89 blowout.

Watch Schanowski, Gill and Perdue break down the upcoming games in the video above.