2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks @ Bulls

I hope everybody had an eventful New Year’s Eve and made use of all the free services for getting our drunk asses home, or at least paid money for cabs if you were dumb enough to not know that Triple A would literally tow your car along with your drunk carcass to your house for free if you gave them a ring. I of course worked last night, so my New Year’s was more sobering than watching Schindler’s List in a hospice ward. Which explains why I’m available to write about tonight’s game while everyone else crushes Advil and water and tries to remain still on their beds. But I expect you all to have made a full recovery by tip-off at 8 tonight.

Once again, the Knicks draw the Bulls after they played a hard-fought overtime game. This time, though, it was only one overtime, they won the game, and they’re not playing us on the 2nd night of a BTB. So, we figure to see what the Bulls are really capable of, which lately, is quite a bit. Their last 4 games have been against top competition, starting with a road win at Oklahoma City, followed by a closer-than-the-final-score loss at Dallas and home wins against Toronto and Indiana, two of the East’s best. Seems like we’re drawing a Bulls team that is rounding into form, and playing them at the United Center is going to be a difficult task.

The Knicks have played pretty good basketball lately, at least defensively, but they couldn’t get over the 4th quarter hump against the difficult schedule because their shooting has been about as accurate as a mechanic’s repair estimate lately. That changed drastically against Detroit, and we all hope that the Knicks can carry over their regained shooting form to Chicago tonight. Unfortunately, Chicago leads the league in OPP FG%, allowing just 41.7% shooting so far this season. Hoiberg was supposed to come in and modernize the offense, but the stare-blankly-into-space coach has mostly just watched the Bulls be the Bulls thus far. It’s going to be difficult to score against Chicago’s stellar defensive rotations and long players, and Melo tends to hate playing against Jimmy Butler almost as much as he hates being defended by Paul George. Good thing we only see Kawhi and Draymond twice a year, as I’m sure being checked by them is as much fun as a root canal without anesthesia.

I’m interested to see how Kristaps is used since he only played 19 minutes against Detroit, and he should be able to get around Gasol without much issue. My feeling is Gibson will be guarding him, and that will be tough, but Kristaps has a big length advantage and could conceivably take advantage of that to have a big game. There’s no Joakim Noah for Chicago, which is a blessing for Zinger, and also D-Rose is probably not going to play, which given his currently catastrophic PER of 10.5 might not be a bad thing for the Bulls. For perspective, 15.0 is considered average, and D-Rose ranks 55th out of 68 qualifying point guards. So maybe his name incites more fear than his game. Sure, the scouting report says he is questionable tonight, but we all know Mr. Glass doesn’t suit up when he gets a boo-boo.

D Rose Unbreakable

The UnbreakaBull has had some tragic luck and I hate to poke fun at a player who used to be such a joy to watch, but when the internet makes pictures like that and you understand the hilarity of the reference, you’ve got to put it in your article when D-Rose is injured or you’re a hack as a writer. In my unprofessional opinion.

This is going to be a tough win to get, but the Knicks have to scratch a couple wins out of their next five games somewhere. The road trip at Atlanta, Miami and San Antonio looms after a home game against the Hawks Sunday (and by Tuesday night we’re going to be very tired of seeing that effing team, it’s like they’re playing a mini-playoff series these past 10 days) and it’s going to be difficult to find success in those games. You hate to call a game in January a must-win, but the Knicks really do need this game tonight. Let’s hope the Bulls all went clubbing (I have nothing more to add to the Cleanthony Early story aside from my happiness that it looks like the kid is going to be fine, I added my 58 cents in the news thread where it was discussed at length already on Wednesday) and the Knicks played 2K in their hotel rooms and followed a strict nutrition and hydration regimen, because that may come into play as well tonight.

Enjoy the game, folks!

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Erik Judd

I'm a lifelong basketball fan whose interests range from some things to other things.

54 thoughts to “2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks @ Bulls”

  1. You fucking philistines fail to appreciate the beauty of starting 2016 with this homage to the 2014-15 Knicks. Performance art at its most exquisite

  2. Let’s not lose the faith too quickly, everyone. All it takes is a run. Though I have to agree that the eye test says this is going to go poorly.

    Would like to keep my streak of writing about wins alive, it’s a lot more fun than the alternative.

  3. Jose Calderon is what happens if the 2013 Jason Kidd was asked to be the starting PG. He’s a much better fit next to a guard that can get to the basket. The Knicks offense as currently constructed does not create imbalances in the defense. You need to be able to make the defense hurry, and the Knicks don’t necessarily have anyone who can do that. Even if it’s Tony freaking Wroten, just please get somebody who can penetrate a defense.

  4. It’s a minor miracle that we’re only down 6. I’d be pretty nervous and pissed if I were a Bull fan.

  5. As soon as I started posting about how much they suck they started playing better. Maybe I’m onto something.

    Let me try shouting it: KNICKS SUCK

  6. Between Calderon and Afflalo, I’m convinced the Knicks are starting two off guards. I’d trade one of them for a point guard that can get to the basket.

  7. Calderon can really stroke it for an old man, if you know what I mean.

    I’m saying he’s a good 3 point shooter.

  8. So now that it’s a 2-point game, where’s all the “I give up in the 1st quarter” guys”?

  9. Chicago has to be an infuriating team to be a fan of in the post-Jordan era. They play great against great teams but then blow early 17 point leads against a team likely to miss the playoffs.

  10. So now that it’s a 2-point game, where’s all the “I give up in the 1st quarter” guys”?

    To be fair, I never gave up. I just assumed it was going to be a long night.

  11. So now that it’s a 2-point game, where’s all the “I give up in the 1st quarter” guys”?

    All due respect Erik, you haven’t been on this site long enough to know that’s what we do. But no one really stops watching.

  12. Seraphin with the offensive rebound and then the putback? We should win just because of that.

  13. Fair enough, d-mar. This is true, and last year was an abomination that Knicks fans had to sit through night after night. I just don’t like to see fans give up on their team, I’m the type who always stays in the arena until the buzzer no matter what and it always kills me to see people giving up and leave, especially in basketball when I’ve seen some insane comebacks.

  14. This 4th quarter has just been tragic. Butler and Portis massacring any hope the Knicks had.

    I liked Portis a lot when he was at Arkansas and thought the Bulls stole him in the draft.

  15. Bulls holding Knicks to 41.3% shooting, about their average as the number one FG% defense in league… Knicks not playing terrible defense when they’re set, but Bulls have knocked down shots and Jimmy Butler is doing Jimmy Butler things.

    Was nice to see the Knicks fight back and try to make a game of it, but from the 2 minute mark of the third quarter to now they’ve been run out of the building. Just no more gas and can’t get around defenders at this point

    Appears my streak of writing about wins has come to an end. Recap will be up later tonight I think, depends on a couple things but I’ll try and have it finished before midnight.

  16. 8 points in the 4th…the Knicks are one of the worst 4th quarter teams in the league and it bit us in the ass tonight.

  17. Yeah, the upcoming stretch of games could cement the Knicks as sellers as the trade deadline nears.

  18. Knew this stretch of games was going to define the season… Have to find a way to get some pride and beat Atlanta at home following this awful 4th quarter performance. Whatever it is about the 4th, the Knicks have imploded so often this year. Also, wtf is Rolo doing only playing 21 minutes tonight? He was the only Knick with an even halfway decent +/- and Fisher let him rot on the bench.

  19. I’ve come to dislike Afflalo far more than Calderon in the Knicks back court. Any chance that he can be traded for some sort of point guard? He was 2/9 tonight, 0-3 from three, and repeatedly burned on defense. Calderon can’t defend either, but he was 7-9 tonight, 3-3 from three, and had 4 assists.

    Other than that brief hot streak awhile back, he’s looked like toast.

    Sadly, I’ll guess that he has no trade value at all.

  20. Afflalo -34 tonight also…… Worst aside from that atrocity was -17 from a couple guys. Wow. Get him the fuck to the bench for a couple games.

    And no, I would say at his contract number, he has 0 trade value as of today.

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