Post Game Recap
Final Score: Knicks: 111 Bulls: 118 OT
The Chicago Bulls did it again, as they ended the Knicks 13-game winning streak tonight after ending the Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak a couple weeks back. The Knicks opened up a huge lead, going ahead 23-6 to start the game and going up by as many as 15 points in the third quarter but were unable to hold the lead both times. Fatigue was an obvious factor in the game tonight, as the Knicks dressed only nine players with only eight of them getting time on the court; getting to overtime was surprising enough for the Knicks with a stretch they went on during the third quarter. The Knicks will have a quick turnaround, as they will play in Cleveland tomorrow night.
- Coming into the game the thought of having Chris Copeland starting at center put fear into many people thinking of what the Bulls could possibly do to the Knicks on the boards. Thankfully for the Knicks, the Bulls had their own injuries in Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson both missing the game tonight so the playing field was a little more even. The Knicks battled on the glass though, losing the rebounding battle 53-52 behind a season high 19 from Carmelo Anthony and a career high 14 from J.R. Smith.
- Anthony again filled up the scoring column in addition to the monster rebounding night, scoring 36 points. That is six games in a row for Anthony with 35+ points, most in Knicks franchise history. It was not an easy 36 for Anthony though, as the Bulls got at it defensively against him and he shot 13-34 from the field, missing all four of his three point attempts but knocking down all 10 of his free throws.
- The defense the Knicks played on Carlos Boozer was outstanding tonight. The Bulls came into the game tonight with their game plan to feed Boozer early and often but the Knicks had a better defensive scheme to combat that. Boozer was constantly double-teamed on the night as the Knicks refused to allow Boozer to beat them in the paint. Boozer was held to three of 11 from the field and five turnovers but did grab 15 rebounds.
- The bench, which has been strong for the Knicks recently, was depleted tonight and did not perform well. The +/- ratios for the bench were appalling, as Steve Novak compiled -9, Jason Kidd -21 and Smith -32. The Knicks were unable to gain any traction with their subs in the game tonight and it hurt them in the end as the Bulls bench of Richard Hamilton and Nate Robinson lit the Knicks up.
- Robinson put on a show for his old team, throwing on the championship belt at every chance he had in taunting the Knicks. Robinson had reason to taunt the Knicks though, as he torched Raymond Felton all night. Robinson destroyed the Knicks from all over the court, scoring 35 points on 10 of 18 shooting, going five of 11 from deep and 10 of 10 from the charity stripe. Robinson was fired up to play against his old team and he had a great game to show for it.
- Robinson was not alone in dominating the Knicks tonight as Jimmy Butler had quite possibly the best game of his career tonight. Getting the start for the injury depleted Bulls, Butler made the most of his opportunity in scoring 22 points, grabbing 14 rebounds, handing out two assists, getting three blocks and three steals all while playing very good defense against Anthony. Butler was a thorn in the Knicks side all night as he did all of the little things to enable the Bulls to win.
- The Knicks did not turn the ball over frequently tonight; having only seven total, but the timing of them is what was so negative. The two that stick out the most were on back-to-back possessions in the 3rd quarter. The Knicks had just built their lead back to 15 points, looking to put the Bulls away but back-to-back steals by Butler swung all the momentum back in the Bulls favor. After those turnovers, the Knicks proceeded to miss their next 13 shots and 20 of their next 25 as the Bulls worked their way back into the game, eventually taking the lead and control of the game.