Bulls vs. New York Knicks: Linsanity meets the MVP (Game Preview #44)

[Thanks to boyonthedock for today's game preview. ESPN telecast tonight. Rip, Deng, and CJ are all out. -yfbb]

Lin-sanity comes to Bullsville. Though on the heels of the Knicks 5 game losing streak, it's more of a mild case of Lin-mentia. I remember being so happy when the Knicks would lose, when we had their pick. Those were good times. Carlos Boozer for pick swaps in a couple years? What say you, Knicks front office?

The Knicks were pretty popular with the media for a while there, thanks to a win streak tied to the emerging player who was finally given a chance, Steve Novak. Novak's rain of 3's captured the heart of a nation for a good month or so. He did nothing but make his teammates look better, most notably backup point guard Jeremy Lin. A small controversy erupted about what would happen when assumed franchise savior Carmelo Anthony returned from injury, presumably shifting Novak to the bench. And I'm just going to guess thats why they are losing now. Because Steve Novak, pride of Marquette, maker of two and half 3's per game, and enjoyer of two and a half men reruns, would not let a 5 game losing streak occur with adequate playing time. He just wouldn't.

Also, he is a year older than Melo, which blows my mind. It shouldn't because they were both in the final four as freshman in 2003. Also, Melo has a true shooting % of .501, which is pretty rough for the guy with the highest USG% on the team. You know who's been terrible on offense for the Knicks? A lot of people. Baron Davis, Mike Bibby, Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglass, and JR Smith. All with TS% under .475.

Holy shit, they've had JR Smith for 10 games already? Nevermind, he's why they are losing now. Just call him Breaking Bad, because he is the cancer that ruins awesome chemistry. The Bulls have been employing Nobel prize winning chemists as GMs for quite a while now, and they clearly knew to ship him out of town for a year of PJ Brown and cap relief. This led to the bulls being terrible a year or two later, which led to Rose, so I guess JR Smith's attitude problem is awesome, like Breaking Bad.

Tyson Chandler is having an awesome season. He has more Win Shares than Derrick Rose already, 6.2 to 5.9 (though Rose has missed time). 6.2 WS for 18 total team wins is pretty awesome. Also, he used to be a Bull, and people like me miss him sometimes. He got his ring and seems happy, so good on you Tyson. He's good so the Bulls should try not to get too many shots blocked and try to keep his dunks and oops to a minimum. I guess he was hurt a bit but played yesterday so I expect him to play again.

Amare' Stoudamire is still out in New York, playing basketball fairly well from what I can tell, but his numbers are down the more good players New York seems to throw together. He's still good, but I just don't care about him any more, you know? The Knicks are just in a crazy place as a franchise where they have a new omnipresent story about personnel every 3 months or so. Amare' being the first guy makes him old hat.

Jeremy Lin plays point guard, and he's been ok at it lately. Derrick Rose plays point guard, and he makes NBA all-defensive team members cry themselves to sleep. It'll be fun for me to watch some of this current Knicks squad for a whole game for the first time since they started this new point guard. The Bulls played New York just a month ago on Feb. 2nd, and between then and now he's started 17 games. Crazy, it seems like he's been around forever now.

I'm going to assume that Coach D'antoni calls Landry Fields "Lance" and Fields never corrects him because that is what I want to think and no one will tell me otherwise.

The Knicks are in their first losing streak since playing Lin for heavy minutes, but Knicks players should be used to those by now. It coincided with playing a stretch of good teams, a lot of them on the road, and also they played Milwaukee. Lost to them, too. Chicago is good, the Knicks are the road team, and played yesterday, So I expect the Bulls to win comfortably tonight, but not the blowouts i expect when I usually write up a preview.

Do me a favor and read Posting and Toasting. It is by far my favorite SBN site for a team I do not follow. Just funny, great writing over there. If you are bored, read the archive of the Pregame Reconnaissance series. It is amazing.

Games at 7 CST on CSN and ESPN, so the gamethread should be bumping tonight. I always wanted people to list the game time and channel, so I did. You're welcome, people like me!

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