I’m still on overdrive after the Knicks comeback win over the Chicago Bulls today, Easter Sunday. It was a game full of resurrections (D-Rose and Bulls in third, Carmelo and the Knicks in late fourth and overtime). Here’s a special edition of the Three-Man Weave.
Iman Shumpert: Yes, this was Derrick Rose’s first game back after missing 12 straight due to a groin injury. People will use that (especially ESPN’s Mike Wilbon) as an excuse for his off shooting game. But let’s not take away from the great defense of rookie guard Iman Shumpert. His job was to cover Rose and boy did he do his job. The reigning MVP shot just 8-for-26 from the floor while committing eight turnovers, most due to Shumpert’s constant pressure. Shumpert finished the game with four steals to go with his 15 points.
Tyson Chandler: The Knicks center was a rebounding machine late in the game, especially on the offensive end. He finished with 16 rebounds, 10 of them on the offensive boards. He finished with three blocks, never allowing Carlos Boozer to become a big factor offensively and serving as a wall whenever Rose went into the paint. We’ve used up every adjective to sum up Chandler’s play this season so let’s just crown him for what he is: The 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Mike Woodson: It was an interesting second half for Woodson, one reminiscent of the second half in the game against the Pacers where the Knicks blew a 15 point fourth quarter lead. Despite J.R. Smith missing shot after shot and after Landry Fields strong first half (10 points, 5-for-7 shooting), Woodson still left Smith in the game. Was Field’s 0-for-4 third quarter enough for Woodson to bench him in favor of Smith? Normal circumstance sure, but when the sixth man is going 3-for-12 in the fourth, it might be time for a change. Luckily, Smith did reward Woodson with some key defensive plays down the stretch and some big shots near the end and in OT.