Bulls at Knicks — 7pm on TNT
NEW YORK — The Bulls are reeling and there is no way around that. After two devastating losses in four days, the Bulls need to refocus themselves on this road trip which enters its fourth game.
This hiccup in the schedule was expected as Chicago got two super solid contenders on either sides of a game against the Wizards. The Bulls lost to the better team in the Sixers last night and that’s the cold hard facts.
But the Bulls want to avoid becoming a punching bag for teams on the up and up. The Sixers had something to prove by burying the Bulls last night and that was that they can not only contend with the best but beat the best.
The Bulls get another team exactly like that tonight in the New York Knicks. The Knicks are riding thin ice in the Big Apple, as when you have guys like Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire on the roster you don’t easily swallow 8-13.
So if the Bulls think they can have another rebound win like they did against the Wizards, then they are sorely mistaken.
The Knicks defense has the potential to lockdown Derrick Rose and without having to worry about Richard Hamilton or Luol Deng boosting the offense.
Sorry, but Carlos Boozer isn’t scaring anyone off the court. As we saw Sunday not even his kids are scared of him.
But the Bulls can have a rebound win against the Knicks in a way the Wizard game wasn’t. The Knicks are not a bad basketball team and they are going to be in playoff contention when the season nears its conclusion. If the Bulls can get back to .500 on this road trip in New York, it’ll be much more valuable of a win then the one against Washington was.
The win against Washington was valuable because it got the Bulls some vengance. But honestly, it was like getting beat up by the school yard bully and then finding the dorky kid with tapped glasses and a steel lunchbox to pound on.
It’s not really an equalizer.
So tonight in New York the Bulls need to fully get back on track or at least make the move towards doing that. Anything less then a win tonight in New York will start to create panic in Chicago — and rightfully so.
Chicago rolled into the playoffs last year red hot and people (namely myself) were convinced as though it was a foregone conclusion that the Bulls would sweep the Finals.
This time the sobering up is coming mid-season and perhaps that’s the best way for it to happen. Because what we learned last year was like it or not, the slumps will happen. The question is do you want it to happen in February or Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals?