What did Rose need for his confidence after having another off night? A game winner. Rose made a floater with just over 5 seconds left in regulation to put the Bulls up by 1 (82-81). Carmelo Anthony, technically, had the last shot, but could not knock down the jumper to win the game. The Knicks started off slowly and the Bulls took advantage of that. Neither superstar, Rose nor Anthony, particularly had a good shooting night. Carmelo did lead the New York Knicks with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Raymond Felton and Tim Hardaway Jr. were the only other two to score in double figures for the Knicks.
Luol Deng finally arrived after having a forgettable night in Miami. Deng shot 8-15 from the field. Luol Deng played his usual 40+ minutes, scoring 17 points and 6 assists. Joakim Noah did not have a great night offensively, but did manage to grab 15 rebounds and distribute 5 assists.
The Chicago Bulls’ stubborn defense refused to allow the New York Knicks to score prolifically in the paint. They only allowed 24 points in the paint, while scoring 46 points on the Knicks near the basket. The Bulls held the Knicks to 35% shooting and shot slightly better with just over 40% from the field.
The Bulls will have to control their turnovers, especially against teams who like to run and get easy baskets in transition in the open floor. Their ball movement throughout the game was good in some instances, but they simply could not make shots. It will take time to gain good team chemistry to decrease the turnovers. Last night, the Bulls had 18 turnovers, but usually averages about 14 turnovers throughout a season. Fans have to remember that the Bulls have several players coming back from major injuries and haven’t played together despite practice scrimmages. New players mixed with players having to reacquaint themselves to the speed of a regular season game can bring out a lot of woes for any team. Only time will tell if the Bulls can form into a championship contender that some analysts and fans are claiming them to be.
Despite the close win, the Bulls still have a lot of things to fix. They will face the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday at 7:30pm ET. This game should not be taken lightly for the Chicago Bulls, especially after the 76ers victory over the Miami Heat. They also should take note of Sixers rookie, Michael Carter-Williams, who nearly score a quadruple double against Miami.