Rant and Rise: Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder Win, Toledo Falls to Ball State

Here’s the latest edition of Rant and Rise for November 7, 2012:

Chicago Bulls Hand Orlando Magic First Loss

Despite Derrick Rose recovering from a torn ACL suffered last year during the playoffs, the Bulls are off to an impressive 3-1 start and are coming off a big 99-93 win over the Magic on Tuesday–handing them their first loss of the 2012-13 season.

Luol Deng stepped it up for Chicago after 23 points to go along with eight rebounds while Joakim Noah chipped in with 20 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks. If players like Deng and Noah can continue to play at this type of level during Rose’s absence, the Bulls will be just fine until he returns later in the year–assuming there’s no complications with his rehab.

Oklahoma City Thunder Top Toronto Raptors

There were plenty of questions surrounding the Thunder over the first three games as they seemed to miss James Harden–who was traded to the Houston Rockets a few days before the start of the regular season. However, if Tuesday’s 108-88 win over Toronto is any indication of what’s to come–it appears Oklahoma City will be just fine.

Russell Westbrook led the way for the Thunder with 19 points to go along with eight assits while Serge Ibaka contributed 17 points of his own. There’s a reason why Oklahoma City was the defending Western Conference Champions last season and hopefully Tuesday’s win was just what they needed to get the ball rolling.

Ball State Cardinals Upset Toledo Rockets 

After climbing into the Top 25 for the first time since 1991, it appears Toledo’s short stint won’t last long after falling to Ball State 34-27 on Tuesday. Keith Wenning led the way for the Cardinals by completing 29 of 42 passes for 280 yards to go along with three touchdowns and all of a sudden–the Rockets matchup against the Northern Illinois Huskies on November 14 is going to be an important one when it comes to the MAC standings.

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