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Bulls vs. Knicks: Rose at MSG, Butler's clutch play, interior D struggling?

More from a night at Derrick Rose's Garden (c wat i did thar?).

  • Rose's dominant showing in the Bulls' 105-102 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden is bound to bring up hyperbolic references to Michael Jordan. He scored 15 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, shooting 5-for-9 from the field, 3-for-4 at the line, and grabbing three boards. Take away the Christmas Day universal disaster from last season and Rose is a pretty automatic show under (literally) the brightest lights:

    2012-02-02 CHI @ NYK W 1 40 12 26 .462 2 5 .400 6 9 .667 0 4 4 13 1 0 2 0 32
    2011-04-12 CHI @ NYK W 1 38 10 19 .526 2 6 .333 4 5 .800 0 0 0 3 2 1 4 3 26
    2010-12-25 CHI @ NYK L 1 41 12 28 .429 0 2 .000 1 3 .333 2 5 7 8 6 0 7 2 25
    2010-02-17 CHI @ NYK W 1 40 10 19 .526 0 0 7 9 .778 0 4 4 6 1 0 1 1 27
    2009-12-22 CHI @ NYK L 1 35 11 21 .524 1 1 1.000 3 3 1.000 1 5 6 4 0 0 2 0 26
    2009-01-19 CHI @ NYK L 1 37 9 20 .450 0 0 2 2 1.000 2 2 4 8 0 0 3 2 20
    Generated 2/3/2012.

    That's 26.0 PPG, shooting 48.1% (.500 eFG%), .742 FT% on 5.2 FTAs per game, 7.0 APG, 4.2 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 3.2 TOPG (2.4, excluding the X-mas game) in 38.3 MPG at the Madison Square Garden.
  • It's Jimmy Butler's world; he just lets 'Melo live in it. Butler my dude. Ronnie Brewer was slowing down with the long shifts and the fresh legs were certainly a more than adequate substitution. He was only 1-for-4 from the field, but the Knicks left him and he was aggressive to the basket; just unable to finish. He slowed down a fastbreak, but otherwise made correct decisions when Rose gave him the ball in space. Can't ask more from him, as he did more than one could ask against the NBA superstar scorer with maybe the least variance in "clutch time".

    "We know he’s going to get better and better," Tom Thibodeau said after the game. "The hard thing is we’re not practicing. So he’s doing a lot of individual work with assistant coaches with film and workouts. We have confidence in his ability. He already has a defensive mindset. As he gets to learn the league and the tendencies of the players and teams, he’s only going to get better and better. He’s got a very serious approach to the game. He made big plays down the stretch."
  • No interior D or supreme play from Chandler and Stoudemire? The Knicks took 36 frickin' shots at the rim, led by Stoudemire's 11-for-13 and Chandler's 4-for-5. To the Bulls credit, Chandler has great hands and corrals just about anything in his vicinity and finishes about as strong as anyone; and Stoudemire put some great moves on everyone. NY officially scored 48 in the paint at a very high percentage (24-for-42, 57.1%) against a Bulls team only allowing 35.4 paint PPG on a NBA-fourth-best 45.1% shooting. It's a good thing NY was only 4-for-16 (25%) on 3s, including 'Melo bricking all four of his long-range attempts.
  • Rebounding matters. Another aspect of the Bulls interior D is more striking -- the Knicks' 14 second-chance points on 13 offensive boards (31.7%). Good thing the Bulls neutralized this with 13 second-chance points on nine offensive boards (27.1%). The second chance points weren't Bulls-gaudy, but there weren't many bricks to re-grab and they still corralled a high percentage against a Knicks zone for which Chandler is more than capable of compensating. But this was the fourth game in a row where opponents had higher offensive rebounding rate after only five times in the first 20 games. When in the red on that end, the Bulls are 6-3, but two of the three losses were blowouts and the wins were too close, as their average margin of victory in the nine games is exactly one point for a team outscoring opponents 9.3 points per 100 possessions, overall.

    It was good to see Carlos Boozer playing more inside. He was only 2-for-4 at the rim, but positioned himself to grab three offensive boards and only took two long-2s and made them in a game where he showed up for an efficient 16 points on 7-for-12 and nine rebounds. Despite Stoudemire making him look very silly at times, he used the space Stoudemire gave him very well when Amar'e over-committed to help. This is exactly how Boozer and Rose make each other better.
  • And, in case you forgot...

    I love when Kevin loses his shit.