The Knicks played better defense than they had during their previous five losses, but could not make plays that they needed to down the stretch, which led to the Bulls getting the 104-99 win.
A stat that proves that the Bulls wanted it more is that they pulled down 56 rebounds (22 offensive) to only 38 for the Knicks (9 offensive). To emphasize that last stat, the Bulls had 18 more rebounds than the Knicks! The Bulls are the second best offensive rebounding team in the league, but the Knicks should have known this when they read the scouting report.
Overall, the Knicks played better than in previous games, but they need to give all out effort throughout the whole game and not make so many little mistakes that lead to points for the opposition.
A stat relating to rebounding is that Iman Shumpert (4), Steve Novak (4), Landry Fields (4) and Baron Davis (3) all had more rebounds than Amar’e Stoudemire who finished with just three. He played well on the offensive end, scoring 20 points on 7-12 shooting, but finished -10 for the game and did not pull down rebounds that the team needed him to.
The Knicks were not able to contain Derrick Rose like they needed to, as he finished with 32 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Jeremy Lin scored 15 points and had eight assists, some of them leading to dunks, but once again shot a low percentage. Tyson Chandler finished with 10 boards and Carmelo Anthony was the high scorer with 21 points.
The Knicks will actually be much improved when Jared Jeffries returns from his injury. He is able to make so many hustle plays that don’t show up in the box score.
Chicago was without Luol Deng, Richard Hamilton and C.J. Watson. They are currently 35-9, have the best record in the Eastern Conference and do a much better job of making the right play than the Knicks. They are clearly a team that is better coached than the Knicks are.
The Bucks won tonight, so after the sixth consecutive loss by the Knicks, they are now tied with Milwaukee for eighth place in the conference, but really sit at the #9 spot, since the Bucks hold the tie-breaker. If the Knicks lose a few more games in a row, Mike D’Antoni’s job will be in serious jeopardy.
Woodson, who is one replacement option, had some successful seasons with the Hawks and D’Antoni is simply not getting the Knicks to play winning basketball after the return over Stoudemire and Anthony.
The Bulls started the game going on a 12-5 run off of strong play from Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose. However, the Knicks would turn up the intensity.
New York would go on an 11-0 run, with improved defense, as Melo made a half-court pass for a lay-up and Lin also made an impressive pass near the basket to Stoudemire for a dunk.
The Knicks made two impressive defensive plays towards the end of the quarter. Josh Harrelson showed his usual hustle preventing a potential fast-break dunk and Lin impressively blocked a lay-up attempt by Rose, who is very explosive.
Steve Novak, who has been almost automatic from long distance, made a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter, to give the Knicks a two-point advantage, 25-23.
JR Smith has an impressive steal leading to a slam by Fields leading to a 37-32 lead. This shows his potential but he needs reduce over dribbling and making costly turnovers.
It was 44-44 with 2:40 remaining, but Taj Gibson would hit a jumper to give the Bulls the lead. Lin would hit two free throws after drawing a foul near the 3-point line and would then make a floater in the line to put the team up by one.
Lin drove to the basket as time expired trying to draw a foul, but he was not able to get the call. He was limping a little, but is a warrior since he told Tina Cervasio that he would be fine. They led by two at the half, 50-48.
The Knicks shot 45 percent and held the Bulls to a very respectable 40 percent. Lin only had one turnover in the first two quarters.
They did not play the same defense to begin the third quarter as they did in the first two. Carlos Boozer made a wide open jumper from the top of the key to give the Bulls a two point edge. The Knicks will have to prevent any open shots by the Bulls.
The Bulls went on an 8-0 run to go up 66-59 led by Rose and Boozer. Rose scored four points and Boozer made two free throws during the run. Noah was also a defensive catalyst and set a critical pick leading to a score by Rose. The Knicks had their fifth consecutive poor start to the third quarter.
Iman Shumpert, who excels on defense and can score when he drives to the basket, missed badly on a jumper that he took after he came into the game with about five minutes left in the third. He has been struggling with his jumper so he should concentrate on going to the basket.
The Knicks showed fight that they have not shown in recent games as they had trailed by seven in the third, but were only down by one at the end of the quarter, 79-78.
Lin had an excellent ball fake, completely confusing the two players guarding him and would make the open jumper. Unfortunately, on the next play Lin was called for a loose ball foul. That was his fifth foul of the contest.
During two consecutive plays Melo did not dive on the floor for the ball and then Stoudemire did not jump for the rebound essentially giving the ball to the Bulls. Korver had more hustle then Melo on that play and Gibson showed more effort that STAT. This helped the Bulls take a 91-84 lead.
As Lin was shooting free throws that would pull the Knicks to within three, 91-88, he heard chants of overrated from the fans.
Lin committed only his third turnover when they were attempting a fast break, but it was a costly one as the Knicks were down 95-90 and could have made it a one possession game.
The Knicks were not able to pull down a critical offensive rebound towards the end of the game and Stoudemire had a careless pass that would lead to a score for the Bulls.
Melo would make a three with 49 seconds remaining to make the score 99-95. However, on the next possession they shot an uncalled for 3-pointer when they should have gone for a quick lay-up and hope to get fouled.
The Knicks will need to figure out how to play hard on both ends of the floor for the whole game fast because they play the Blazers and then have a home-and-home with the Pacers, who are 23-16.