[Thanks to sin (I guess) for today's game preview. There are some openings for next week, so sign up if interested. I contributed a Bulls blurb to the fantastic Posting and Toasting, so check out their game preview as well when it's up. Gamethread at 7, or considering it's TNT, tipoff. -ed.]
Previously on the Chicago Bull Z...
Our heroes have just returned from the city of Philadelphia with a tough defeat. Although our hero Derrick Rose continues to defy logic while facing off against tough opponent after opponent, seemingly only getting better in the process, it seems the critical injuries to our band of fighters is starting to take its toll on the group.
On tonight's episode our heroes journey to the fabled grounds of Madison Square Garden where they will be introduced to yet another formidable foe in the New York Knicks and their prized fighter Carmelo Anthony. Now these opponents are not to be taken lightly for they are smoking hot off a one game winning streak. Forget their record as that has never been a good indicator against this foe. The Knicks have always been able to hide behind the veil of a terrible record only to ambush our heroes with an onslaught of long range bombs that never seem to work against any other opponent but us...
Now some boring stuff...
A look at tonight's matchups...
PG- Iman Shumpert vs Derrick Rose
Shumpert has been impressive this year for the Knicks bringing defense, athleticism, and some shooting to their lineup. But, like Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas, he is not a true point guard. Rose should have his way with Shumpert. I can see Shumpert being a bit of a pest defensively, just not enough to make a difference.
SG- Landry Fields vs Kyle Korver
(Wow, haven't done a preview all year...feels good to not have to type Bogans here) I'd say this matchup is mostly a wash here as Fields has fallen off this year but has started to pick up his play as of late. What will be interesting however is how the rotations will go between the 2 and 3 positions throughout the night.
SF- MELO vs Ronnie Brewer
Now now I think we all know who I'm giving the edge to here. Even if it was Deng, I'd say Melo has a bit of an edge on Deng 1-on-1, but I don't think there's much debate now that we have the smaller Brewer playing instead. Sunday showed us what a strong SF can do to Brewer in the post, and Melo is probably a far better post player than LeBron James, and just has so many more moves to use. I don't see Brewer being able to contain Melo, seeing as to how Deng usually has trouble containing him himself. Also, Brewer may not be able to make Melo pay for his defensive lapses the same way Deng can, so edge to the Knicks here.
PF- Amare vs Carlos Boozer
Battle of the All Under-performing All-Stars here. Who is worse relative to their contract? I honestly don't know. Amare just seems to have lost a step. He was unable to take over and dominate even with Melo out of the lineup as many hoped he would do. As for Boozer, we all know too well how he is under performing. Normally I'd give the edge to Amare seeing as he's just simply a better player than Boozer, but this year I don't know who to give the edge to here so I'll call it a wash as well.
C- Tyson Chandler vs Joakim Noah
Both very similar roles by both players although very different in their approaches. While Chandler may be more athletic, Noah has great hands and positioning and likely the two will spend very little time on each other but rather defending the power forwards of the opposing team. This matchup should be pretty even so I'll leave it as a wash as well..
Coaching- D'Antoni vs Thibs
Offense vs Defense. Which will prevail?? Kidding. Edge Thibs.
Bench- Even with our decimated roster I'd say we have the edge as far as the benches go, but the Knicks do have Jeremy Lin (Taiwanese pride!!!). (Speaking of why didn't we look at him for our 3rd string PG. He looks much more competent than JL3.)
So...will our heroes prevail tonight? Will Derrick Rose be able to lead the gang to another victory? Or will Melo prove to be just too much for our heroes to handle? There's only one way to find out...tune into the Chicago Bull Z tonight!!!
Bulls vs Knicks coverage
Game starts at 7 (All-Star starters to be announced on TNT at 6 with an hour long pregame show which means you can probably bet that our game will start a little later.)
Blog with fellow Melo fans at Posting and Toasting