The Bulls have managed to crawl back above .500… The last four games I previewed turned out to be a 2-2 affair, when the Bulls really should have gotten all four of those games.
They blew a 27 pt. lead over the Milwaukee Bucks on their home floor. Followed that disappointing performance up with wins over the Dallas Mavericks and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Indiana Pacers would get the best of them in an ugly game where each team shot under 40%.
Chicago is currently in the midst of a 2 game winning streak, which unbelievably matches their longest so far of this young season. Road wins over Cleveland and Detroit find us back at the United Center hosting the red hot New York Knicks. The Knickerbockers just crushed the Miami Heat on Thursday, handing them their first home loss of the season.
Keys to tonight’s game:
Win The Rebounding War…
Mike Woodson has the Knicks focused on defense and rebounding. Tyson Chandler, last year’s Defensive Player of the Year will be going up against Noah in the middle. Boozer and Noah sit at 14th and 7th in the league in terms of their rebounding rate. Tyson is 16th. Both Jo and Tyson have similar games… Effort and energy players who take advantage of situations and are effective even without plays being called for them. Jo is a better passer, while Tyson gets his hands on more balls… Jo is 7th in blocks though, so he’s definitely not afraid to mix things up. Finally Jo is coming off a MONSTER 30 pt. 23 reb. game in Detroit so he’s got momentum.
Guard The Three…
Between Melo, Kidd, Novak, Smith, Felton and even some of the bench players, it will be tough to guard the Knicks on the perimeter. They took 44 three attempts in Miami. 44. They are launching rockets and the Bulls need to get ready to move their feet.
If Melo plays tonight (he’s got 5 stitches in his finger from diving after a loose ball last week, and missed the Miami contest), Luol will have to guard him on that elbow. Melo loves that elbow jumper and will “jab-step” his defender all night.
Game is coming on in a few minutes! What’s up Bulls family? Let’s get behind the Bulls and pull out this win! Would be great to win three in a row.
I’ll be live tweeting from @ChiTwnBullsBlog!