Final Score: Knicks 83, Bulls 78

Tonight at MSG, the Knicks beat the Bulls by a score of 83-78

 The Least You Should Know:  

The Knicks looked like a real basketball team tonight. For three quarters. Next time, let’s go for a full four.

Melo started out hot and played well throughout, finishing with 30 and 10, 4 dimes and 3 steals.

Amar’e played in his first back-to-back set of the season. After notching 15 and 5 last night, he stayed hot with 14 and 9 in 30 minutes tonight. If STAT can dominate backup big men, the Knicks’ second unit might be able to keep this team in some games.

The Knicks defense came to play, holding the Bulls to 32 first half points. Sadly, however, they stayed in the locker room at halftime and the Knicks barely held on for the win.

Ben Kopelman

 Led by Prigioni and Kenyon Martin, the team decided to try something new tonight and actually play some defense. Surprise surprise, it worked. The Bulls shot 33% on the night while the Knicks tallied 7 blocks.

Speaking of Prig, it is impossible to ignore how much better the team plays with him running the show. Aside from hitting a few threes, he just runs a better game out there. Whether Felton is injured, fat or just out of it — whatever the reason, give Prig the keys moving forward.

Other than defense and Prig, the story of this game was STAT. Playing in his first back-to-back, he looked like a solid role player who can score against second-team bigs. I refuse to get too excited about it just yet, but if he can find his rhythm…

Shumpert knocked knees in the third quarter, forcing the team to call a timeout to make sure he was ok. He did not return with what was reported to be a bruised right knee.

I have been hating all season, so I will give dap when dap is due: JR went to the hoop on consecutive possessions in the third. First he made a nice dribble-drive-pass to Bargnani who finished with a flush, and then got fouled and got two freebies. That he 1. went to the hoop instead of settling for an off-balanced pull-up and 2. passed the ball to an open man were sights for sore fans’ eyes. That said, he also had a horrible foul amidst the Bulls’ fourth quarter run which earned him a seat on the bench, so, we are not completely there just yet.

The Bulls are far from a healthy team right now, and have no guard play to speak of, and yet still managed to go on a huge second half run that made this game far closer than it should have been. The fact that the Bulls had nobody to lean on for a bucket down the stretch was a big help tonight.

But you can only beat who you play, and for the 6-win Knicks, I think we all agree: we’ll take it.


 Next Game: The Knicks next game comes Friday night, as the team travels to Boston to play the Celtics at 7:30pm.




80 comments
skoonix
skoonix

I've been a big Prigioni fan since he got here - he hustles, the offense seems to play better when he's on the floor, but yes because of his age - now that he'll play more - Woodsen will have to watch WHEN he rests Prig. And I'm all for Murry getting more playing time.

bigdishing
bigdishing

We beat Boston on Fri we are 1.5 games back in the Atlantic, and actually tied in the loss column. God, I love our division. 

ds2488
ds2488

We finally reached 6 wins everybody.  It only took us 21 games.


Exactly like last season when we won 6....in our FIRST 6 games.


SMH.....

frankieboy
frankieboy

Please let the headlines read 


YOUR FIRED !

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

I'm glad for any W...Melo and Amar'e pulled this out. Kenyon played as well as we could hope on a bum ankle. 


With that said, the play calling when things got tight was almost comical. Chicago's defense, strategy wise (in the 4th) killed us. We have to find an answer to the loading up on the strong side. There has to be some off the ball movement going on even if it is just a decoy to keep the defense occupied. 

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

Nice to see Amar'e play well on both ends of the floor. As good as Melo was tonight, it was Amar'e who made huge plays down the stretch which secured this win. Not just the jumper he made to break the tie, but a big steal and rebound on the defensive end, that turned the game back in our favor.

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

Not mentioned, but I think Beno had a decent game tonight.

chrisb
chrisb

Coach Woodson cost this team its big lead. Coach has not played out of shape Beno, now he has to, and Beno got gassed. Wood has another pg named Murry. But he is a rook and doesn`t get burn so he-blows the lead leaving the tired Beno in. Come on Biggie, lets see how you revise that senerio. I am not giving him credit for nada. Those guys went out and a. didn`t fall behind early, mostly due to Ray being hurt and Pablo on the court, and Stat, yes Stat, the most overpaid guy in the league. Actually earning his money tonight. Great job Stat, I hope for both you and us you can do this for the rest of the season. I will gladly eat my words about you if you can. But back to Coach. Why did he put JR back in the game after such a bonehead play???? And thank you Ray, its called addition by subtraction. Ray plays we lose tonight

MetsKnicks
MetsKnicks

Well Bargnani is back to being garbage...Hopefully Amare can stay healthy

ds2488
ds2488

A win is a win.  So I'm happy.  But we still continue to be the worst "coached" team in the league by our "coach" Woody.  


Obviously an improvement was in order just by virtue of Ray Felton being injured...Watching an actual pg who knows how to play the position was a nice change of pace.  Prigs has gotta freaking shoot the ball though...I guess I'd rather have a good shooter who is afraid to shoot than an awful shooter who always wants to shoot though.  


Overall, liked the effort.  K mart came to play, and just like during last years win streak to end the season, him and Pablo really made the big plays.  Credit to Stat too who had a good game.  


This "coach" is the worst.  Playing the artist formerly known as JR Smith has become a running joke.  And predictably when the Bulls tightened up their d the "coach" could only dial up iso Melos with everyone standing around.  

bigdishing
bigdishing

Great win, seriously. I thought everyone player really well except for JR. He's terrible. Didn't Woody bench him in the first? I think if Shumpert didnt get hurt he would have been on the bench more in the second half.  

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

I too think that Woodson should be let go, but I will never root for a Knicks loss.  Can't do it.  I'm glad for the win.  Not thrilled about the end of the 3rd and the 4th... but glad they got the win.  

Other than winning tonight, there is nothing to proclaim.  The Knicks are not back, they won a game.  And that is not a bad thing.  

MetsKnicks
MetsKnicks

Amare with 27 and 30 mins on back to back nights....let him do NOTHING tomorrow aside from treatment....we have another back to back

frankieboy
frankieboy

I am of course happy for the win but , in a way , wish they had lost so we could be rid of Woodson. He is barely clinging to his job.


I feel we need a change . He didn't do anything special but just keep trying rotations.


This one is by far our most obvious best defensive one . Id use Metta more. 


Anyway....... finally some D and good for Stat . Lets see how he feels tomorrow. 

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

Glad the Knicks won, but they played not to lose down the stretch and looked rattled.  A win is a win, but I did not like losing the composure down the stretch.


Amare played extremely well, except for a small stretch at the end of the third where he made defensive errors and a strange mistake of not taking a backcourt violation.  But he was the highlight of the game for me.  His energy and a back to back was great to see.

brookdon
brookdon

(Rare) Bulls Blog Highlights!!

"Damn I was hoping Hinrich would go off against fatso

Has to deal with Priggie now"

"Lmao no one on the Knicks wanted to score"

"When 2013 Amare backs you down and scores easily in the post there aren't words"

"A silver lining to the Bulls being an unwatchable mess is that I spend more time doing productive things"

"If we lose to the Knicks

And we’ve already lost to Utah and the bucks. Are we the worst team in the NBA?"

"Drink every time

They say Offensivly Challenged"

"Of course, the beautiful part is the Knicks are bad enough to give this back and lose by 15.

Or, of course, more likely… Amare with the game winner with 5 minutes left in the fourth."

"Just noticed the Bulls would be winning by 1 if the Knicks had scored 0 in the first."

"Can masochism be learned?

This season will provide an interesting psychological case study!"

"Wtf knicks stop letting us back in the game"

"Enjoying the tank, and they rally!

Rooting for them to pull out the comeback… and they blow it.

We’re going to be losers no matter what happens."

JayfromtheFix
JayfromtheFix

@BiggieSmalls I was in the game thread and i can't remember anyone wanting the knicks to lose they were thinking the knicks will lose not rooting for it. 

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

Incredible.  But regardless, I just want to get to playing good basketball.  Do that, and the division lead will come regardless. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

Don't worry, our depth is starting to kick in. 

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Dolan would never hire Thibs. He ran him out of town because he suspected him of leaking stories to Isola.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@SheSaidSpikeWho That should be a sign to all those who are saying "Melo forces the iso", to understand that the coach is the one calling for those "plays".

ds2488
ds2488

@NYKnickerBocker agreed.  At least compared to Ray Felton, he was Chris Paul-esque tonight lol.

bigdishing
bigdishing

@chrisb He put in JR because Shump was hurt. In the first half he only played a few minutes. It seems like he might be getting the message. But I am off Woodson's a$$ for tonight. Can't complain when he gets the W. 

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

See. Now we know the secret. No orange uniforms and you have to fall asleep!

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

I think Amar'e deserves most of the credit for the way Amar'e played. Woodson had to try something different. Why not give Amar'e a shot? Especially when Bargnani, all of a sudden, can't hit a jumper. When Bargs can't hit one wide open jumper, he has very little value.

chrisb
chrisb

@BiggieSmalls No its on Stat who is forcing his way back on the court. Hell Stat isn`t even reped by CAA

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

Yep, I'm exhibit A on thinking STATues suck!     He' putting or he just put this up for 1 game?

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Yup..all he needed was his legs under him...he still not all the way there yet either.

chrisb
chrisb

@frankieboy Actually the team did not switch the pick and roll, we gave up  the perimeter shot, but at least the 5 stayed on the 5

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@NYKnickerBocker When you're in the situation the Knicks are at, any tight game becomes a nightmare, especially if you allowed a team to get back into something you had completely controlled.

For anyone who's palyed organized sports at any level and has gone through situations like these would understand why a unit gets so discombobulated. Everything you did so well earlier falls to crap and you gotta rely on whatever's left in the tank to pull it out, because the ideas and confidence aren't there. It's the way it is in sports.

When you keep losing your confidence is not there, you begin to doubt yourself and your teammates, and when things get close, everything becomes tougher. Executing becomes tougher (especially when the opposing team is very strong defensively), the bucket seems smaller, and your lack of confidence leads you to doubt just about everything.

It doesn't help that your coach's only answer is, "dump it to one guy and let's take our chances", but it's what we're stuck with for now.

So, no matter how, a W is a W. It improves an awful record, but it's a W nonetheless. Am I happy that it keeps Woodson as our HC, no, but right now I gotta take whatever makes our team improve in the standings.

ds2488
ds2488

@brookdon lol at "Damn I was hoping Hinrich would go off against Fatso".  Too true.  

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@brookdon Sounds eerily familiar to what our blog looks like on a nightly basis.

Thx buddy.

miracle33d
miracle33d

My favorite: "Can masochism be learned?"


Answer:  Just root for a team owned by Dolan.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@brookdon Sounds eerily familiar to what our blog looks like on a nightly basis.

Thx buddy.

MetsKnicks
MetsKnicks

@brookdon "Of course, the beautiful part is the Knicks are bad enough to give this back and lose by 15. LOL

C0P0
C0P0

@brookdon "Wtf knicks stop letting us back in the game." Classic.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@NYKnickerBocker As long as the team finishes the season playing good ball, I'm good. 

For now, let's just try and get some more W's any way we can.

We've seen plenty of cases where teams struggle throughout entire seasons and find their groove late in the season to have strong playoff pushes.

C0P0
C0P0

@Knicks_Fanatic Never say never, but in this case, it's pretty much a never. However, if the Knicks don't come around and it becomes "The Lost Season", desperate times, require like measures. Still, it's a stretch. 


Dolan will just stick Herb on the bench until someone he thinks will be loyal, comes along.



VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@ds2488 @NYKnickerBocker Whoa. Slow your roll there buddy. His shot selection is worse than Felton's, he's more turnover prone, and he's an even worse defender.

One game against a depleted team does not a decent player make.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

Bargs defense has been better than his offense lately.  He better kick it into gear because a lot is expected of him.  He 's a 7 footer who should be able to take opposing bigs away from the paint.


Woody should be able to have him do that to at least open up things for Melo and others. He can be our facilitator since our PGs never get into the paint.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Last 3 games he's been playing well. He was the only one who showed up Sunday.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

I'd take STATues having sore knees if he could play consistent good b-ball.  It's not his knees that really concern me, it's his b-ball IQ or lack of. 

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Nah he won't...he would have had sore knees today after playing close to 30 last night. Everybody will be sore tomorrow...it is what it is.

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

I noticed that too. Our guys did a pretty good job fighting around the screens too.

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

@VerySilentJay I understand given the situation and tight game, but this should not have been a tight game.  The lead was lost last three minutes of the third and into the fourth. There was time to regain composure on the bench, but I think everyone including the coach was rattled.  


NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

@VerySilentJay

Absolutely. And that's what you want going into the playoffs. But as you said, for now - figure out a way to get wins.

NYKnickerBocker
NYKnickerBocker

I didn't say he was a decent player. I said he had a decent game.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

I hear ya but Sunday I couldn't tell much since much of it was garbage time. 

MetsKnicks
MetsKnicks

@MeloStat301 Playing 30 mins on his first back to back is a huge difference than playing 27 in one game. This happened last year after he played 30 mins also...