Rip Hamilton and Luol Deng are both questionable and/or out for the game, which would be a big boost for the Knicks. Take the jump for some quick notes!
Here's what I'll be watching for:
- DERRICK ROSE vs. ....?
- Derrick Rose presents a challenge for everyone who faces him, but the Knicks lack of a true PG could hurt them. Toney Douglas is not fit to guard Rose, but Shumpert has the size, instincts, and strength to maybe give Rose a tough time. He probably doesn't have the quickness, but it'll be an interesting matchup to watch.
- The Knicks previous win over Detroit was perhaps the best offensive performance of the season. It was the only game where they've shot over 50% FG for the game, and many of their baskets were assisted. Moving the ball early and getting everyone involved is key for their offense, and against a very good defensive team like Chicago, New York will struggle to score, especially if they become stagnant and isolation-heavy.
- The Knicks' bench has run hot-and-cold all season, but lately it's been pretty pathetic. D'Antoni seems glued to only bringing Douglas, Walker, and Jeffries off the pine, so the Knicks will need significant offense and defense from all three of them. If Douglas and Bully, in particular, can get going from downtown, it opens up the floor for the rest of the team. Likewise, Chicago's bench is pretty decent with CJ Watson, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, and Taj Gibson all coming in and providing good minutes and energy, so the Knicks need to beat them in that respect.
Chicago Bulls Scouting Report
- No cute stuff here. Kyle Korver looks like Ashton Kutcher.
- In order to improve his defensive prowess, each night Taj Gibson steals hair from Joakim Noah's hairbrush in the lockerroom, and pastes it to his goatee.
- Carlos Boozer and Ronnie Brewer have both decided that if they don't win a championship with the Chicago Bulls, they will go into the beer manufacturing business together.
Get ready! This game is a little less scary if there's no Deng or Hamilton, but it'll be tough either way. This could be a huge win for the Knicks if they manage to pull it out. Go Knicks!