New York Knicks(6-15) vs Chicago Bulls(7-13)
Friday, 12/14 8:30PM ET Live on MSG
Welcome to MSGKNickz33 pregame show, Im your host Jazzy Jeff and Im here to breakdown tomorrow nights matchup. The Bulls have won 5 out of their last 10 games and are beginning to play better. The Knicks have lost 4 straight and are now tied for the 3rd worst record in the league. The Memphis Grizzlies and the Miami Heat share the same record (6-15) as the Knicks. Only the Seattle Sonics and Minnesota Timberwolves are worse.
Lets take a look at the starting lineups for both teams.
The Chicago Bulls
AND NOW YOUR NEW YORK KNICKS!!!!!!
AT POINT GUARD, JAMAL CRAWFORD
AT SHOOTHING GUARD, FRED JONES
AT SMALL FORWARD, QUENTIN RICHARDSON
AT POWER FORWARD, ZACH RANDOLPH
AT CENTER, EDDY CURRY
Tonights Key Matchup is at the Shooting Guard Position.
Fred Jnes vs Ben Gordon
Ben Gordon can score quickly. Fred Jones needs to fight through picks and stay with Gordon while always gettin a hand in his face. Ben Gordon is the Bulls leading scorer averaging 18.1 points per game while Fred Jones has had some good games offensively but his strength is defense. It should be a good matchup for him because Gordon is only an inch taller. Jones is used to having to guard players 3 or 4 inches taller than himself.
What do the Knicks need to do to win?
- Chicago is the 9th best team defensively in the league. Knicks nee to take care of the ball, move the ball around and play as a team.
- The Bulls are the 2nd worst team offensivley, Dont allow them to become one of the best teams on offense.
- Attack Ben Wallace!!!! He's getting older and Curry had a couple of good games against him last year.
- Box Out!!!! Chicago is a better rebounding team. At the same time, the Knicks should be a better rebounding team then they are so they need to work on boxing out and putting more effort in.
- Guard their Guards!!!! Gordon and Hinrich have gotten off to slow starts but when they get going, they can put points up in a hurry. Both of them are good shooters and they can also break down defenses.
Jamal Crawford needs to have another game where he shoots around 50% from the field. His 4 turnovers against Seattle hurt the team so he needs to do a better job of taking care of the ball. Hopefully going up against his former team will fire him up.
Fred Jones needs to worry about defense more than offense. As mentioned in the key matchup, Ben Gordon can score. It will be Jones' job to deny him, which is a tough assignment. Once Gordon gets going, he can score 30 points easily. Thats why you cant allow him to make a couple of shots in a row because thats all it takes.
Quentin Richardson should also not worry about offense, his field goal percentage is very low. He needs to focus on rebounding and doing the best job as he can defensivley on Luol Deng. Deng is a tough player to stop because of his combination of strength and athletic ability.
Theres nothing special about Joe Smith so Zach Randolph needs to take it right at him. Smith does not have a single block in the past 5 games, but he did have a game where he scored 19 points against Chris Wilcox and the Seattle Sonics. This is not what Smith does nightly, hes a solid role player who might not be in the starting lineup the way Chicago continues to change their starter at the powerforward spot. Whoever Zach is matched up with, he needs to score. This team will not win games with their defense so they will have to do it with their offense.
Eddy Curry will go up against his former team also. He will be matched up with Big Ben Wallace. Wallace has clearly slowed down. He is getting older but hes still Chicagos best rebounder and shot blocker. Curry is taller and stronger. He should look to get good positioning down low and take it right at Ben. He had a good game against Wallace last year which he credited for his improve confidence. Hopefully, the same will happen tomorrow night. Curry has not looked confident at all the past couple of weeks.
Chicago has a tough bench. Tyrus Thomas, Andres Nocioni, Chris Duhon, and Joakim Noah are all capable of coming into the game and making an impact. Once this Chicago team gets things together, they're going to be tough because they have a good starting 5 and one of the better benches in the league. Nocioni would be a starter on many teams, he is intense and passionate about the game of basketball. The Knicks also have a talented bench. Look for David Lee, Renaldo Balkmen, and Nate Robinson to come into the game and make a difference. This should be a close game. The Knicks are more comfortable at this point playing on the road then they are at home so we'll see what happens.
Im Jazzy Jeff and I thank everyone for joining me, catch the Knicks and Bulls tomorrow night on MSG.