Matchup Summary: The Chicago Bulls won the previous two matchups versus the New York Knicks, a 93-85 win in Chicago and a 110-96 victory in New York minus Carmelo Anthony. Chicago is a tough matchup for the Knicks because they are an excellent rebounding team, which is the Knick’s major weakness. The Bulls rank ninth in rebounding, and are third in opponent’s points allowed, only allowing 91.9 points per game. The Knicks currently are 26th in rebounding. Ironically, the Knicks have played better against the Bulls when they have Derrick Rose. Rose is still recovering from a knee injury and has yet to play this season. Carmelo Anthony returns to the New York lineup coming off his one-game suspension versus the Pacers. Expect him to be very motivated. This classic rivalry is seeking to be renewed with both teams now in contention.
What to Look For:
Rebounding. If Chicago can dominate the offensive boards, leading to extra possessions, it will be a long night for the Knicks. The Knicks must limit Chicago’s second opportunities to have a chance in this game. Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire must be effective on the glass. Joakim Noah will be crashing the boards all night, and the Knicks have to try to contain him. Chicago will need to try to prevent Chandler’s patented offensive rebound tip outs themselves. These plays by Chandler often give the Knicks two and sometimes three chances to score.
How will Chicago defend the pick and roll ? In their last meeting, Chicago did an excellent job protecting against the Knick’s pick and roll game. In this match up Felton will not be playing and he is more dangerous running this play than Kidd and Prigioni. If Chicago can successfully contain this play like they did last time, New York’s offense will struggle throughout the night. Kidd and Prigioni don’t have the explosiveness of Felton so it will be difficult for them to turn the corner off the picks, and get into the lane to create plays. The Knicks have to figure out a way to generate offense out of their pick and roll schemes.
Is Amar’e Stoudemire ready to become a major impact player again ? This is Stoudemire’s sixth game back and he has been progressing. He had a set back after the game against Boston, feeling soreness in his knee after playing 28 minutes. Coach Woodson announced that his minutes would be cut back. The Knicks are hoping that Stoudemire can gain at least some of his all-star form and give them another reliable scoring option. This would be an opportune time for him to have a breakout game.
Prediction: It’s hard to envision the Bulls beating the Knicks three times in a row, especially with the game being at Madison Square Garden. Look for this to be an old-fashioned Bulls versus Knicks contest with the Knicks winning by a narrow margin.
Knicks 90 Bulls 86
When: January 11, 2013
Where: New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
Chicago New York
PG: Kirk Hinrich PG: Jason Kidd
SG: Richard Hamilton SG: Ronnie Brewer
SF: Luol Deng SF: Carmelo Anthony
PF: Carlos Boozer PF: Marcus Camby
C: Joakim Noah C: Tyson Chandler
Chicago New York
Kirk Hinrich (day to day) Marcus Camby (day to day)
Derrick Rose (out) Iman Shumpert (out)
Rasheed Wallace (out)
Raymond Felton (out)