The New York Knicks are seriously struggling and have not won often as of late. The will be playing the second of back-to-back games in their hunt for a second win in 11 games, where as the Chicago Bulls are looking to emerge victorious and avoid a third straight defeat which would signal a losing streak.
The Bulls are below .500 by a sliver with a 19-20 record, and find themsleves in ninth place in the East, and will be going to MSG, where they’ve only gotten one win in their last five visits. The Bulls have given up two games in a row now. The last one to the Washington Wizards, 99-101, even though they had a lead at half time by 12 points.
Denzel Valentine had led the Bulls with career-high 19 points with two steals off the bench, while Robin Lopez added 14 points and six rebounds, but it wasn’t enough. Michael Carter-Williams had 14 points, seven boards, and two thefts, Bobby Portis also contributed with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Rajon Rondo came back to the lineup adding in 12 points, four boards, and three steals. Taj Gibson got a double-double of ten points and 12 boards. Dwyane Wade didn’t play in Washington and rested but he will play tonight. Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic won’t play this game due to sickness.
The Knicks are worse off with a 17-22 record have not played well all season disappointing fans and themselves, under performing and posting numbers way below expectations. The Knicks have lost nine out of their last ten games. their last being to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, in a close 97-98 game. They couldn’t break their losing streak due to poor outside shooting, which was 4 for 22. Carmelo Anthony led New York with 28 points and three blocks, Derrick Rose had 25 points and four assists. Kyle O’Quinn got a double-double of ten points and 15 rebounds, with two steals and two rejections. The rest of the team only put up points in single digits, including Kristaps Porzingis, who only got seven points, and was 3 for 10 from the field. Coach Jeff Hornacek will have his roster at his disposal, but despite not having injuries they are playing like a lame team.
If the Bulls want to win Wade will have to score 30-plus points. With Butler out, Wade will have to pick up the slack and lead the Bulls in points and should take about 20 shots tonight without difficulty. He only averaged 16 points in the last 14 days, but D-Wade scored 35 in their last meeting with the Knicks in November, and he matches up well against Courtney Lee.
For the Knicks to win, they’ll have to take advantage of Butler being out, and they’ll need Kristaps Porzingis to improve his performance. He only scored 16 points total in his last two games, so Porzingis will have to step up his game and give assistance to Carmelo and Rose. The Latvian is really having a hard time from the field in the previous few games but he should get back in the groove tonight. Last time they met up, Kristaps had 27 points against the Bulls, and he’ll be looking to shoot that tonight.
The Knicks are in a must-win situation or else they will be in lots of trouble. Theu should be able to defeat the Butler-less Chicago at MSG tonight. They’ll have to tighten up their defense since New York has given up an average of nearly 112 points in losing nine of its last 10, but Chicago has given up more than 109 point per game too in its last three, so expect a high scroing game.