Bulls-Knicks Preview

New York Knicks Status Check:
Record: 18-23
Division: 4-5
Conference: 12-13
Road Record: 7-13
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Streak: Lost 5
Last game: 106-94 loss to Philadelphia
PPG: 96.6 (12th)
Opponents PPG: 96.3 (18th)
Offensive Rating: 101.7 (24th)
Defensive Rating: 101.3 (9th)
Pace: 94.3 (2nd)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .478 (18th)
Turnover Percentage: .153 (29th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .744 (6th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .262 (20th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .232 (6th)
Opp. eFG%: .490 (19th)
Opp. TO%: .162 (2nd)
Opp. FT/FGA: .222 (22nd)
Leading scorer: Carmelo Anthony (21.3)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

New York Injury Report:
Jared Jefferies: missed Sunday’s game (sore knee)
Bill Walker: out (elbow surgery)

Overview:
Chicago gets their first taste of Linsanity when they take on the Knicks in the United Center tonight.

New York is in eighth place in the East currently, so they would be Chicago’s first round playoff opponent if the season ended today.

They are also a bit of an enigma. At the start of Lisanity, the Knicks won seven in a row. But since then, they are just 3-8, including dropping their last five. New York is 2-7 since Carmelo Anthony returned.

They also aren’t the same type of team they were last year. New York is currently, 24th in offensive rating and ninth in defensive rating. Last season the Knicks were seventh in offensive rating and 22nd in defensive rating. Welcome to the Big Apple, Tyson Chandler.

New York couldn’t stop Philadelphia from scoring yesterday though, giving up 106 points and allowing the Sixers to shoot 50.6 percent. Lou Williams scored 28 points and Evan Turner added 24 of his own.

Lin went 5-18 for 14 points, and turned the ball over six times. Stoudemire shot just nine times, making four of them and finishing with nine points. Melo went 11-12 from the line, scoring 22 points and grabbing nine boards (six offensive).

Amare and Melo didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter, both logging 29 minutes in the game. Tyson Chandler played 39 minutes, while Lin played 37 and Landry Fields logged 33.

The Knicks are 4-9 on the second night of back-to-backs.

The Knicks did force 14 turnovers against the 76ers. Philly averages just 10.7 turnovers per game, first in the league (This is roughly the number of turnovers Jeremy Lin averages by himself per game.). The Knicks are second in opponent turnover percentage (.162) and second in turnovers per game, forcing 17.3 per contest. Chicago forces just 13.6 turnovers per game, putting them 26th in the league in that category.

While the Knicks are struggling since one of their stars returned from an injury, the Bulls are dealing with a bunch of their own.

Chicago was without three starters (Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Rip Hamilton) and their back-up point guard (C.J. Watson) against Utah, but still got the win.

Kyle Korver stepped up in his starting role, scoring 26 points as he went 6-11 from deep and 10-16 from the field overall. He also grabbed seven rebounds and dished six assists.

Carlos Boozer scored 27 points (13-17 from the field) to go with eight rebounds and five turnovers. Boozington logged 41 minutes, just the fifth time he has played more than 40 minutes in a game since joining the Bulls. Over his last three games, Boozer is shooting 64 percent from the field and averaging 22.7 points per game.

The Bulls won, but they gave up 62 points in the paint, showing that they really missed Noah against Utah’s talented bigs.

Chicago is 1-1 on the current homestand, with three games remaining. After tonight, their next game is against the second place team in the East, the Miami Heat.

The Bulls won by three points the first they faced New York. The big lights of Madison Square Garden didn’t scare Derrick Rose as he scored 32 points to go with 13 assists and four rebounds. Kyle Korver scored 16 points starting in place of the injured Luol Deng, while Ronnie Brewer had just six in his starting role, filling in for Rip Hamilton (sound familiar?).

Amare Stoudemire was the leading scorer in the game, dropping 34 points (16-27 shooting) and grabbing eleven rebounds. Melo scored 26 points, but went just 10-26 from the field. Anthony is shooting a career low 40.1 percent this season.

New York’s starting point guard at the time, Iman Shumpert, scored ten points, to go with eight assists and five rebounds.

These two squads will be twice more after tonight, in back-to-back games in April.

Chicago’s injury status: Luol Deng and C.J. Watson will not play tonight, while Joakim Noah will be back in the line-up. Rip Hamilton is out indefinitely, but did you expect anything different?

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