Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New York loses sixth straight in Chicago

Key stat: The Knicks allowed the Bulls to grab 22 offensive rebounds and 56 total rebounds. Taj Gibson had 8 offensive rebounds by himself (13 total).

The Knicks' losing streak continues against the league best Chicago Bulls. The Knicks were able to play very well until the fourth quarter when the Bulls' front court took over on the boards. Throughout the course of the game there were 17 lead changes and 13 ties. This speaks to how competitive the game was for both teams. The Knicks' chemistry looked stronger than at any point during the losing streak against the tough Bulls defense. Perhaps most importantly, both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire played well. Anthony played relatively unselfish for most of the game, and avoided using isolation and holding the ball too long. Stoudemire looked a little bit like his old self especially from mid range scoring shooting 4 of 6 from mid-range. Stoudemire was also able to slam in a few dunks on his way to 20 points. Prior to the game, Stoudemire said he was starting to feel full strength and in shape from the offseason. However he was only able to grab 2 defensive rebounds which may have contributed to the Knicks' downfall late in the game.

New York was within striking distance for most of the fourth. Until an offensive rebound by the Bulls' Jimmy Butler led to a bucket from Carlos Boozer with less than five minutes left in the game. That score extended the Bulls' lead to five points and Chicago started to pull away from that point on. The Knicks did close the gap again to four points following a Bulls turnover and a three-pointer by Anthony with 48 seconds left in the game. But Chicago was able to hit free throws and the Knicks were unable to knock down key buckets late in the game.

Derrick Rose finished the game with 32 points and 7 assists. The Knicks defended Rose well during the first half allowing only 13 point on 5 of 14 shooting. Rose also only had two assists during the first half. The New York game plan seemed to be backing off Rose and forcing him to beat them with his jump shot (Rose was 3 of 11 from outside the paint). The plan was somewhat effective during the first half but during the second half Rose returned to form scoring 19 points on 7 of 14 shooting. Rose also contributed another 5 assist during the second half.

But the Knicks' real problem was weak rebounding on the inside. The Knicks played with a small lineup for a good portion of the second half. Coach Mike D'Antoni often used both Jeremy Lin and Baron Davis at the same time. This allowed for Taj Gibson to benefit on the offensive boards. Gibson finished the game with 13 total rebounds and 15 points. Gibson almost matched the Knicks 9 total offensive rebounds by himself.

The Bull finished the game up five, 104-99. But despite suffering their sixth straight lost, New York may be able to view this game a move towards the right direction. There was no third quarter fall apart. The Knicks moved the ball extremely well and Anthony played unselfishly.

In the end, the Knicks lost a close game to a very good team on the road. A lost, but not a bad lost. The Knicks will have a chance to rebound from this bad road trip with seven of the next eleven games at home. The schedule will get a little bit easier too with the Knicks facing mostly average record teams. Next game will be Wednesday night at home versus the Portland Trailblazers.   

No comments:

Post a Comment