Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Knicks at Chicago Bulls - What To Watch For - Updated

The Knicks play the Chicago Bulls tonight at 9:30 in the second game of a home-and-home. Sunday proved to be an epic showdown in which the Knicks' grit and defense allowed Carmelo Anthony's timely shooting to steal the win. After a day off the two teams will battle again on ESPN.

Derrick Rose is still a game-time decision, but that should be neither here nor there for the Knicks. The Boston Celtics play the Miami Heat tonight, and if Boston loses and New York wins, the Knicks will only be two games out of the 4th seed. Regardless is Rose plays, tonight will be a very tough matchup for the Knicks and I hope to see them come out with the same intensity that we saw on Sunday.

UPDATE: Derrick Rose is out tonight.

Take the jump for notes on what to watch for tonight!

  • In order, this past Sunday the Bulls were blown out, regained the lead, choked at the end of the game, left broken-hearted by the Knicks. On national television. It was really a tale of quarters, moments even, and rarely did it reflect well on the Bulls. Expect them to come out with passion and intensity tonight and look to upstage the Knicks. As to not fall victim, the Knicks need to play with the same desire that they displayed for most of the previous game. They can't get complacent or expect Chicago to crumble easily.

  • Baron Davis and Toney Douglas where wholly ineffective on Sunday and aside for the beatdown in Orlando, they haven't played well in quite some time. Iman Shumpert stepped up and had a productive game running the offense on Sunday, but he hasn't shown a ton of consistency doing so all year. Toney Douglas probably won't see much of a role anyway, but Baron Davis can be very important to the Knicks. He may not be entirely healthy, but he's still shown an ability to run the offense when he concentrates. If he can create off the dribble, it will be up to him to take smart shots and make smart passes, which he is very much in control of despite whatever injuries he may have. 
  • The Knicks best shooters, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak, were a combined 2-15 from downtown on Sunday. 11 attempts his waaaayyy too much for Smith, but Novak going 0-4 is so un-Novak-like and really fails to legitimize his nicknamesake. Carmelo Anthony helped out with 4-5 3-point shooting, but Novak and Smith need to be more accurate to open up the floor for the Knicks offense.
   - PLAY ON!
  • The United Center will be a more hostile environment to the Knicks and after a semi-chippy game Sunday, I don't expect the Knicks to get a lot of calls. That's not to say the game will be physical, but the Knicks shouldn't expect the referees to play to their side. We've seen guys like Tyson Chandler, Melo, Smith, and Davis all get frustrated by a lack of calls and lose their cool. That can't happen tonight. Play through it!

That's all I've got. Feel free to comment below on whatever you may think will be important in tonight's game! Odd as it may sound, we really need to cheer on the Heat to beat the Celtics tonight and the Nets to beat the Sixers. The 4th seed is in sight! Remember that the game is at 9:30. Go Knicks!

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