New York Knicks vs Chicago Bulls Preview
The city of Chicago is electric after the Cubs won the World Series on Wednesday, but the baseball fever won’t keep basketball fans from anticipating the return of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. The two former Chicago stars will take the United Center floor for the first time in visitor’s uniforms when the Bulls host the New York Knicks on Friday (Enter Contest).
Rose and Noah helped lead Chicago to its best post-Jordan records but never managed to take the team to the NBA Finals before injuries and ineffectiveness marred the end of each of their respective tenures with the team. While the Bulls don’t seem to be missing the two former stars much on the court, the Knicks aren’t exactly surging to new heights with the two in the lineup. New York dropped three of its first four games, with all three losses coming by double figures, and is struggling on both ends. The Knicks allowed at least 32 points in each of the first three quarters at home on Wednesday before the Houston Rockets took their foot off the gas and breezed to a 118-99 win.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (1-3)
New coach Jeff Hornacek is trying to institute team president Phil Jackson’s triangle offense into the attack, but it doesn’t look like the system of play was well received. Point guard Courtney Lee was vocal about this system not working among the team. The Knicks have scored over a 100 points in a single game since the beginning of the season; a 111-104 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rose is averaging 16.3 points but recorded almost as many turnovers (eight) as assists (nine) in the first four games while Noah was held scoreless in two of the first four contests. Kristaps Porzingis averaged 18.3 points in the first three games but slumped to three points on 0-of-4 shooting Wednesday. New York took three of the four meetings last season behind 24.3 points on 50.6 percent shooting from Carmelo Anthony in the four contests.
ABOUT THE BULLS (3-1)
The team picked a good time to suffer its first loss on Wednesday, with much of the print and internet real estate in the Chicago area dominated by the Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908. Anyone in the area that did tune into the Bulls broadcast saw Rajon Rondo, Rose’s replacement at point guard, collect 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the 107-100 setback at Boston. Rondo is having no trouble fitting between wings Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler while center Robin Lopez, who came over in the Rose trade from New York, is proving to be a solid fit in coach Fred Hoiberg’s system. Doug McDermott is in the league’s concussion protocol and is questionable for Friday.