Post Game Recap
Final Score: Knicks: 85 Bulls: 93
The Knicks dropped a tough, hard fought and sloppy game in Chicago Saturday night, falling to the Bulls 93-85. It was the fourth game in five nights for the Bulls and third in four nights for the Knicks; it showed as both teams looked tired, having trouble knocking down shots and struggling to get anything going.
The Bulls came into the game sporting the best rated defense, and it showed as the Knicks shot only 32.1 percent from the field. As expected, the Bulls out-rebounded the Knicks, but the margin was much closer than expected at 47-40 in favor of the Bulls. Here are some positives and negatives from the game tonight:
James White gave the Knicks good minutes off the bench again with Carmelo Anthony sitting out with a laceration to his left middle finger that required five stitches. White was rewarded with 13 more minutes tonight after 17 against Miami Thursday and made the most of them. White finished with a team high +10 +/- and gave the Knicks a good defensive effort, doing a solid job on Luol Deng for the portions he was in the game.
Tyson Chandler was again a monster in the middle for the Knicks, grabbing a season high 18 rebounds to go along with 14 points. Chandler also showed up big time on the defensive end like Knick fans have become accustomed to seeing, taking his counter-part for the night Joakim Noah out of the game and out playing him. Noah scored 10 points and had 11 rebounds, but turned the ball over a career high nine times. It is an impressive feat for Chandler, as Noah came off a career game Friday in which he went for 30 points and 23 rebounds and added six assists.
Kurt Thomas again put in a strong effort for the Knicks. He does not play many minutes, but you know what you are going to get when he is on the court. Thomas also helps the Knicks in areas they are weak in, like rebounding. The Knicks were outrebounded by the Bulls tonight, but they showed effort and energy in attacking the glass even though they were under-manned and lacking some size. The Knicks were paced by Chandler’s 18 rebounds.
The offense lacked without Anthony tonight. The Knicks were unable to find a consistent scoring threat, as no one had the hot hand for the Knicks tonight. Against the Heat, the Knicks relied on the pick-and-roll; against the Bulls they had no such success. Because of this, the Knicks were unable to get many open looks from the perimeter, making only eight three pointers compared to the 12.1 per game they had been making entering the game.
J.R. Smith once again struggled, unable to pick up the slack left with Anthony being injured. It wasn’t for an effort of trying for Smith, as he took 14 shots, eight of which were three pointers, but made only four shots and two from long range. Smith also struggled with his handle tonight, turning the ball over five times.
Ball Security was not where it needed to be for the Knicks tonight, as they turned the ball over 15 times. The Bulls scored 14 points off the Knicks turnovers and the lack of cohesion led to a stagnant offense that the Knicks could never get going. The defensive pressure put on by the Bulls definitely played a part, but some of the struggles for the Knicks tonight were self-inflicted.
Raymond Felton put on a masterful performance Thursday against the Heat, but he struggled some against the Bulls. With Anthony out, the onus fell upon Felton to carry the offense, leading to Felton taking 30 shots from the field. Felton was able to only make nine of his attempts, scoring 27 points but not doing it efficiently. Felton said after the game that taking 30 shots is not something he wants to do often. Not to make excuses for him, but he was hit on his injured left hand early in the game and could have affected him as the game went on.
Kenneth Teape @Teapster725 – Knickswag Contributor