Chicago Bulls (10-15 8-14-3 ATS) vs. New York Knicks (10-17 13-14 ATS) Madison Square Garden New York, NY 7:30 PM EST Tuesday December 22, 2009 on MSG
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Bulls +6 / Knicks -6
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Tonight the streaking New York Knicks host the struggling Chicago Bulls in the Big Apple. This is a match up of 2 teams that are heading in different directions, as the Knicks have won 2 in a row and are 7-3 in their last 10 games while the Bulls are coming off a loss and are only 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Knicks trail the Boston Celtics in the Atlantic Division by 11.5 games and the Bulls trail the Cleveland Cavaliers by 9.5 games in the Central Division.
This season the Knicks are 6-8 at home and the Bulls are only 2-10 on the road.
These teams played last Thursday in Chicago and the Bulls won that game 98-89. Since beginning the season 1-9 the Knicks are 9-8 since to climb back into the playoff race. The Knicks are playing well and they could really use a win over the Bulls, who have dominated them in the recent past. The Bulls have to get over their loss in which they had a huge lead in the 3rd quarter and collapsed at the end to lose to Sacramento. In that game they were outscored in the 4th quarter 33-10.
The Bulls had a 35-point lead over the Sacramento Kings in their last game, but could not hold on, as the Kings won 102-98. The high scorer for the Bulls in that game was Luol Deng going for 26 points on 11/18 shooting. For the game the Bulls shot 38/80 for a FG% of 47.5%. On D the Bulls allowed the Kings to blow up in the 4th quarter and for the game allowed them to shoot 36/82 for a FG% of 43.9%.
The Knicks beat the Charlotte Bobcats 98-94 in their last game. The high scorer for the Knicks in that game was Wilson Chandler going for 26 points on 9/17 shooting. For the game the Knicks shot 32/71 for a FG% of 45.1%. On defense the Knicks allowed the Bobcats to shoot 38/84 for a FG% of 45.2%.
This season the Knicks rank 8th in scoring (102.1 ppg) while the Bulls only rank 29th (91.2 ppg). On defense the tides are turned, as the Bulls rank a respectable 15th in points allowed (98.6 ppg) while the Knicks only rank 26th (105 ppg). The Bulls are a better team on the glass, as they have a rebound differential of +0.7 rpg while the Knicks are at -5.3 rpg, which is the 2nd worst differential in the NBA.
The Knicks have struggled on the boards all season and tonight they have to deal with Bulls’ C Joakim Noah (10.3 ppg 11.9 rpg), who is third in the league in rebounds per game. Look for Noah to have a good game on the glass, since New York does not have much inside presence.
The Bulls have to keep the Knicks from running an up-tempo game, but the Knicks are at home so look for them to have a good scoring game.
Derrick Rose (17.3 ppg) will struggle tonight, as the Knicks have an athletic backcourt, which will make it more difficult for Rose to slash to the hoop.
Knicks’ C David Lee (18 ppg 10.3 rpg) has played well all season and he will find a way to score tonight matched up with a much slower Brad Miller.
Even though the Knicks only rank 26th in the league in points allowed their D has played better recently and they have held opponents to under 100 points in their last 7 games. Look for them to play another solid defensive game tonight against a Bulls team that is struggling on offense.
On the injury front PF Tyrus Thomas is Out and PG Kirk Hinrich are day-to-day for the Bulls and SG Larry Hughes is day-to-day for the Knicks.
Jason’s Pick: Even though the Bulls have the better rebounding team the Knicks will get out and run and play solid D on the Bulls tonight. Look for Lee and Al Harrington (18.9 ppg) to play well on the inside and lead New York to victory. The Knicks are playing great and they are starting to get some crowd support, which they will get again tonight, as they will beat Chicago and cover the 6-point spread.