Bulls vs Knicks: MSG 730pm
The Bulls come into the Garden for the first time this season. Another long time rivalry renewed. In their first meeting of the year, the Knicks were on the road, without Carmelo Anthony and they could just not buy a shot. The Knicks were held to 32% shooting from the field. Most of it had to do with Chicago’s top flight defense. The Bulls are third in defensive efficiency, and second in points allowed per game and opponents field goal percentage. These facts keep the Bulls in every game. The Knicks are still the most efficient offense in the league. Despite the loss of Derrick Rose, the Bulls are 14-10 and fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Having Carmelo Anthony will make a huge difference as he sets the table for the entire team and gets easier open looks for his teammates. Steve Novak should be back from the flu as well. Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby are still out. In their first match-up, Marco Belinelli killed them from the outside going 4-6 from downtown with 22 points, while former Knicks, Nate Robinson provided a major spark off the bench with 14 points and 8 assists. The Bulls also outrebounded the Knicks 47 to 40 and forced 15 Knicks turnovers, five more than their league leading average of 10.5.
I expect a totally different outcome in this one. Carmelo Anthony is truly a MVP candidate who cannot be stopped, it’s going to take the entire Bulls defense to slow him down which will only open up shots for JR Smith and Steve Novak. Raymond Felton cannot settle for mid range jumpers, he needs to go straight to the hoop for lay ups and alley oops for Tyson Chandler. Chicago is disciplined defensively, so it will be much easier said than done.
Defensively for the Knicks, they need to continue to tighten up their defense like they did in the second half of their last Brooklyn win in order to contain Robinson, Hinrich, Belinelli, and Deng as well as out hustle Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah on the boards. If they do that, the Knicks will improve to 20-6 overall and 12-1 at home. Go KNICKS!
Sean Aquino @reactdrummer34 – Knickswag Contributor
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