New York Knicks will play the Chicago Bulls at 7:30 in Madison Square Garden today. Chicago Bulls (14-10) are very quiet without former MVP Derrick Rose on the court but quietly, they still have a very good team with a good coach. Right now, the Chicago Bulls sit at 4th in the Eastern Conference as New York Knicks are currently 1st in the East.
Chicago Bulls are playing good ball as of late, they have won 7 out of their last 10 games. Also, they are best in the Eastern Conference in points allowed. They average 90.3 points allowed per game. 1st in the East and 2nd in the whole league behind only Memphis Grizzlies, who give up 89.5 on average.
This will be the second meeting between the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls. Expect another close matchup like the one prior, which ended 93-85 in favor of Chicago Bulls. In that game, Carmelo Anthony did not play and Raymond Felton tried to pick up the slack, but his 27 points were to no avail.
In that last game, New York Knicks struggled from the field only shooting 32%. This can be attributed to Carmelo's absence or to Chicago's great defense. Chicago Bulls are are known for stopping good shooting team, like the Knicks. Luckily, for New York, this time Carmelo Anthony will play despite playing through an injury against Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
In their last matchup, New York Knicks let Marco Belinelli and Luol Deng score 22 points a piece as they had a handle on the game almost from the start. Despite the Knicks playing tough, they need to do a better job at stopping Luol Deng. The way Tom Thibodeau coaches, Luol Deng will be in for a majority of the game. He averages 41 minutes per game.
The keys to this game for the New York Knicks are shooting the ball well by getting smart shots. Also they have to limit turnovers as always. But more importantly, they need to slow down Luol Deng because he is their most consistent and go-to scorer. If New York can really slow him down, the Chicago Bulls may struggle to maintain with Carmelo Anthony and company.
New York Knicks have only scored under 90 points 3 times this season. In those games they are 1-2. If the New York Knicks are able to score their average of 100 points, the Chicago Bulls will struggle to keep up. This will be no easy task since the Chicago Bulls are a top defense in the entire league. But, with Carmelo Anthony's return and after his performance against Brooklyn, they will be up to to the task.
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