Pre-Game News and Notes
Knicks vs. Bulls: TNT 8PM
The Knicks head into Chicago tonight looking to extend one streak, their 13 game winning streak, and end another, their losing streak to the Bulls. The Knicks have yet to beat the Bulls this season, going 0-3 against them thus far this season and losing four games in a row overall. This will be an extremely difficult game for the Knicks even if the Bulls do not have the services of Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose because of how physical they play. Another reason will be because of the players that the Knicks have available to them tonight, one of the things to keep an eye on for the game tonight.
The Knicks lineup will look comical to some tonight as they will be playing without the services of any legitimate big men tonight. Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace, Amar’e Stoudemire and Kurt Thomas all will not play tonight, with Thomas possibly not even being a part of the team anymore as the Knicks are looking to bring James Singleton on board.
With all of the injuries tonight, sharp shooter Steve Novak will be the tallest active Knick tonight at 6’10” but he is not intimidating anyone in the paint. Because of this, Chris Copeland will be making the start tonight alongside Carmelo Anthony as the Knicks starting front court. Both of them will see plenty of time on the court tonight as the sole big men as the Knicks are lacking any type of big men depth tonight against a team they could desperately use it.
-Can Carmelo Continue His Hot Play?
If the Knicks are to win tonight they will need Anthony to continue his hot play. The Knicks will struggle to stop the Bulls in the paint tonight so Anthony lighting up the perimeter would go a long way in the Knicks getting a victory tonight.
Anthony has been on a torrid pace throughout the Knicks 13-game winning streak, scoring 35+ points in his last five games. To put that in perspective, no one else in the NBA this season has a streak that exceeded three. It will not be easy for Anthony to continue the streak tonight, as he has struggled against the Bulls shooting this season.
In the two games that Anthony has played against the Bulls this year he has shot only 42 percent from the field. He had big scoring nights, going for 29 and 39 points in the two games but it took him 25 and 32 shots respectively to reach those numbers. During this five game streak Anthony’s highest shot amount is 29 and his lowest scoring output is 36.
Anthony may struggle to score because of everything else the Knicks will be asking of him in the game tonight, as he will be asked to bang on the inside with the likes of Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson while being the leading rebounder for the Knicks.
-Who is Rebounding?
As mentioned earlier, the Knicks will be at a huge disadvantage in the size department against the Bulls, who rank seventh in the NBA in rebounding. The Knicks are going to need above and beyond effort on the glass from everyone who goes on the court. The end of game rebounding numbers might be the ugliest they have ever been all season for the Knicks tonight if they do not get consistent effort on the boards from players like Copeland and Novak, two of the taller Knicks suiting up tonight.