Stats and facts head to head:
STAT has averaged 21.6 in his last 11 meetings with the Bulls - all while with Phoenix.
Rose, meanwhile, is averaging 27.3 points and shooting 60.3 percent in his last three games against the Knicks.
Deng also chipped in 22 points per game to help the Bulls to win three of four in last season’s series.
Chicago has also prevailed in 22 of the last 31 overall meetings.
Boozer is still out of the Bulls line up with Whackoffitis.
Anthony Randolph makes his debut.
Keys to a victory:
-Team defence and shot selection. Ball movement and playing well off the ball. Obviously.
-STAT needs to bring $100M worth of effort, smarts, ball movement and rebounding against the Bulls. His TOs will have to lessen in general, and it'll have to begin against Chicago.
-Gallo needs to get out of the toilet in virtually every aspect of his game. We need him to perform as of the summer league. Not holding on to too much hope.
-Felton will have his hands full against Rose. Rose will dominate offensively against Cpt. Ray, Ray will have to bring his own O to the court and fight through picks as best he can.
-Laundry Folds (COOLCLYDE) is playing exceptionally well, but if we can get some more offense from him even 3-4 more PPG, it'll be a blessing. Especially with Gallo stinking up the roster. Locking down Deng will be part of his duties, hope it goes well. Currently 3rd in scoring and 4th in rebounding among rookies.
-Toney D: If Douglas can bring some effective D against Rose and hold him from any form of fluidity throughout stages in the game, that's gonna be KEY. A good shooting and passing night won't hurt either.
-Role players "No Gov no Lov", Walker, Randolph, Turiaf and (hopefully he doesn't even get on the court) RMJr will have to bring D, intangibles, second efforts, rebounding and so on. Hopefully both Ronnie and The Gov wear down Noah and have a good game on the glass.
-If NY can maintain their league best 8+ BPG against Chicago, that'll have a very, very positive effect against Rose's penetration game.
-Chandler needs to bring it again as well. His aggression on offense and versatility on D are crucial for the remaining 79 games. Shot selection, again, has to be crisp, timely and in sync with the offense.
KEY MATCH UP:
Chandler VS Deng.
Rose is gonna get his. That's a given. But shutting down option 2 is paramount for victory. Chandler is stronger and more athletic. Bring your head to the game ,Willy, we're gonna need you.
Co-Captain Raymond Felton on Knicks chemistry in loss to PortlandThings can go our way in this game. We have the pieces, all we need is each piece to communicate, do the hard work, hit the glass, bruise, cruise and we won't lose..“We’re still getting used to each other, still trying to get that chemistry, but things didn’t go our way,” Felton said. “It’s tough to lose a game like that.”
Still my prediction is a 13 point loss - 116 to 103 Chicago.