Sunday, April 8, 2012

Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks Post Game Recap April 8

Final Score: Chicago Bulls 99 New York Knicks 100 OT 

This afternoon’s game had all the intensity and energy of a playoff game. The Garden was buzzing like it hasn’t buzzed in what seems forever. The Knicks opened up a huge lead, going ahead 27-6 in the first quarter but relinquished the lead throughout the rest of the game, becoming less and less efficient as the game went on. Carmelo Anthony would not let the Knicks lose the game this afternoon, willing the Knicks to a win with clutch shooting throughout the game. With the win the Knicks are now 29-27, holding onto a playoff spot. They moved into 7th place with the 76ers falling into the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference after losing later in the night. 

-Carmelo Anthony Brings His “A” Game 

Carmelo Anthony came to New York because he wasn’t afraid of the pressure that came with it and wanted to succeed on the biggest of stages. That is exactly what he did this afternoon against the Bulls, having his best game so far in his Knicks career. Anthony started the game aggressive, going 5-5 in the first quarter en route to 12 points, and didn’t let up the entire game. Anthony finished with 43 points 7 rebounds and 3 assists, willing the Knicks to the victory tonight. He knocked down two huge 3 pointers in the 4th quarter and overtime, the first getting them into the extra period and the 2nd giving the Knicks the lead with 8 seconds remaining. Anthony seems to have regained his touch and is playing basketball like the Carmelo Anthony Knick fans thought they were getting from Denver. 

-Team Effort on Defense 

The Knicks knew they were going to have their hands full with MVP Derrick Rose, but they laid forth a plan to stop him and executed it as well as Mike Woodson could have hoped for. Iman Shumpert and Tyson Chandler anchored the strong defense that revolved around stopping the Bulls biggest threat in Rose. Rose was forced to shoot a below average 8-26 (30.7%) and commit a very uncharacteristic 7 turnovers. Rose had missed the previous 12 games because of a strained groin, and the Knicks took advantage of him being out of rhythm. 

-Contain the Bulls Second Opportunities 

In the last meeting between these two teams, the Knicks were unable to match the inside presence of the Bulls, getting dominated on the glass. Today was no different, as the Bulls out rebounded the Knicks 59-47; the difference laid in the second chance opportunities. The Bulls were tied for tops in the NBA in second chance scoring heading into the match up today, led by Joakim Noah, who is one of the best offensive rebounders in the NBA. The Knicks were able to limit him to only 2 second chance points in the game tonight, which went a long way in the Knicks being able to hang on while still being shorthanded and undersized. 

-Too Much Perimeter Play, Diverging from the Game Plan 
The Knicks were able to build a big lead to start the game against the Bulls, which ended up being the deciding factor in the game. The Knicks relied too heavily on their jump shooting today, which got them into trouble after the opening quarter in which Carmelo Anthony carried them. For large portions of the game there was no offense being ran by the Knicks, just a lot of one-on-one play resulting in contested jump shots and empty possessions. 

The Knicks also got away from their defensive game plan in the 2nd half. It resembled more of the meltdown against the Pacers last week than the stifling defense the Knicks showed at the start of the game when they jumped out to a 27-6 lead in the first quarter. The slower rotations, thought to be from fatigue, allowed the Bulls to get open looks from 3 point land and they took advantage. The Knicks were able to get stops when needed, and eventually pulled out the tough, hard fought victory. 

-More Injury Concerns 

Right as the Knicks get a person back from injury in Jared Jeffries, they have another active player suffering injuries. Tyson Chandler has been battling all types of injuries all season, and seemed to suffer another one in the game this afternoon. He was seen wearing heavy ice packs on his elbow while sitting on the bench. This is something to monitor in the coming days because there is only so much pain one person can take. Chandler is a tough player and will not complain about the injuries so you can only hope for the best and that he does not miss any game time. 

The next game for the Knicks is against these same Bulls Tuesday night in Chicago at 9:30 P.M. ET 

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