New York Knicks (19-32 23-28 ATS) vs. Chicago Bulls (25-26 24-25-2 ATS) United Center, Chicago, IL 8 PM EST February 16, 2010 on WGNAmerica
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Knicks +6.5/Bulls -6.5
Tonight in the first game after the All Star break for both teams the Chicago Bulls host the New York Knicks. Chicago is at home and faces a New York team that is far from legit on the road, but the Bulls may have to play this game without their 2 best players. Both PG Derrick Rose (19.6 ppg) and C Joakim Noah (11.2 ppg 12 rpg) are both questionable for tonight’s game due to injuries.
The Knicks could not wait for the All Star weekend, as before the break they had lost 3 straight and 8 of their last 10 games. New York is currently in the 11th position in the Eastern Conference trailing 8th place Chicago by 6 games.
The Bulls really hope Noah can go, as David Lee (20 ppg 11.4 rpg) has played well against Chicago this season, as in 2 games against them he combined for 31 points and 29 rebounds. In 4 games before the All Star break Lee 23.8 ppg and 10.8 rpg.
This season the Bulls are 15-9 at home and the Knicks are 7-16 on the road.
The Bulls will have to win this game with their defense, as they are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league.
If either Rose or Noah, or both, can’t play tonight the other Bulls will have to pick up the scoring and rebounding slack.
The Knicks did not end the first half well, as in their last game they lost at home to the lowly Sacramento Kings 118-114. The high scorer for New York in the game was Wilson Chandler going for 35 points on 15/23 shooting. For the game the Knicks shot 42/94 for a FG% of 44.7%. On defense the Knicks allowed the Kings to shoot 45/96 from the floor for a FG% of 46.9%.
In their last game the Bulls were crushed by the Orlando Magic 107-87 on February 10th. The high scorer for Chicago was Luol Deng going for 23 points on 8/14 shooting. For the game the Bulls were ice cold shooting 32/87 for a weak FG% of 36.8%. On D the Bulls allowed the Magic to shoot 37/79 for a FG% of 46.8%.
This season the Knicks rank 11th in scoring (101.4 ppg) and the Bulls only rank 27th (95.2 ppg). On defense the Bulls rank a respectable 14th in points allowed (97.9 ppg) while the Knicks rank 24th (103.6 ppg). Chicago has been a better team on the boards this season with a rebounding differential of +1.9 rpg while the Knicks are at -1.1 rpg. However, if Noah can’t play tonight the Bulls are not as good on the glass.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Bulls rank 20th (89.04) and the Knicks rank 24th (86.41).
New York is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against teams with a losing record.
New York has an Under record of 6-1 in their last 7 road games, has an Under record of 0-5 in their last 5 games against teams with a losing record, and has an Over record of 6-2 in their last 8 road games against teams with a home winning percentage of greater than 60%.
Chicago is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games against teams with a losing road record, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against teams with a losing record, and is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against teams in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago has an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 home games against teams with a road winning percentage of less than 40%, and have an Under record of 8-3 in their last 11 games following an ATS loss.
In the last 5 games between these 2 teams the total has gone Under 5 times and New York is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
On the injury front PG Nate Robinson is day-to-day for New York and C Joakim Noah is day-to-day for Chicago.
Jason’s Pick: This game really comes down to if Rose and Noah can play. If they can they will win, but if they cannot they will lose. I think both will play, as Rose played in the All Star game and Noah practiced yesterday and even though neither will be 100%. The Bulls will win and cover vs. a weak Knicks team that has really struggled to win away from Madison Square Garden this season.