You know the deal.
Here’s Thomas B.’s preview of the game:
New York (10-17) hosts Chicago (10-16).
New York is coming off a very nice win against the Bobcats–I don’t care what CNNSI says, that game is final. The Bulls meanwhile just blew the second largest lead in NBA history in a home loss to the Kings. I know many of the posters here were high on Rubio, but I’m starting to think Tyreke Evans could be the best player in the 2009 draft. But we wont know for sure until (if) Rubiocomes across the pond.
The Bulls won the last meeting 98-89 in a game the Knicks really should have won. You can point to the Knicks’ cold shooting in the 2nd and 4th quarters for that loss. Hopefully, the Knicks have realized that the Bulls trouble scoring, and that even a modest defensive effort should complicate the execution of the Bulls offense. To that end, I am naming Jared Jeffries as the key to victory–seriously. Yes, I am aware he was a -9 in the last meeting. Gallanari was a -22 so there.
The Bulls attempt to run a…hmmm, you know what, I’m not sure what kind of offense they run. This guy tries to explain it–have fun with that. I do know that they try to run it through Rose by spacing the floor and giving Rose options. The problem is this: What are Rose’s options? Not much. They have no solid post presence–both Thomas and Miller prefer to face the basket. Noah is not what you would call a force down low. The Bulls don’t have many outside scoring options either. Other than Deng, no one on this team can shoot from deep. This is where they really miss Ben Gordon. Last year they at least had Gordon as pressure relief if nothing else was there on offense. Frankly, a guy like Nate Robinson would be just what they need. Anyway, back to why Jared is the key to this game.
What to watch for 1: Pressure on Rose
Rose is still trying to figure out Del Negro’s offensive schemes–so is Vinny (rimshot). The best way to make that more difficult for him is to keep pressure on him and force him into poor decisions. I think JJ, and to a lesser extent Toney Douglas, is perfectly suited for that task. The Knicks really failed to pressure Rose and take away his best options of offense–Deng and Salmons. So, pressure Rose and focus the defensive effort on Deng and Salmons.
What to watch for 2: You know, the rules allow you to take close shots too
Next, the Knicks have to reduce the number of three point field goals attempted–they took 47 against the Bulls in the last meeting. I understand the Knicks can be tempted to shoot their way out of trouble but more often than not they shoot their way out of games. The Knicks should be getting to the basket since the Bulls best shot blockers–Noah and Gibson–are foul prone. Take advantage of that and get to the line.
Injury report: Tyrus Thomas (fore arm) returned to full contact drills this week (out). Kirk Hinrich (ankle) is likely to play. Deng (fractured thumb) is day to day but expected to play. Salmons (black Chia Pet lodged in chin) is likely to play and scare small children. Larry Hughes (groin) missed the last two games, reports are that he will dress for tonight’s game.