Chicago Bulls (3-7) vs. New York Knicks (2-8)
NBC Sports Chicago; 7:00PM
I believe our own Jason Patt said it best the other day:
Bulls vs. Knicks tomorrow, where the losing team’s coach should get fired on the spot— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) November 11, 2019
The Knicks sit at 2-8 and the last time they won was the Bobby Portis revenge game on October 28th, when they went on a 15-0 run over the last 3:33 to win 105-98. Portis, who easily played his best game of the year, had 28 points off the bench on 10-14 shooting, including going 4-4 from three.
They haven’t won since, and this week news broke that the front office is planning head coach David Fizdale’s eventual exit. In other words, it’s just another winter in New York.
Chicago hasn’t fared much better since that loss either, who are coming off their most recent loss to the Houston Rockets Saturday night. It was yet another game that saw the Bulls flounder in the second half, and struggle to shoot from the floor, going 4-32 from deep, getting outscored by 45 points from three.
The weird thing is that the Bulls’ shot profile is that of most modern NBA offenses, and some of their misses could be attributed to their inability to sustain a high pace of play, and that they’re still building on new habits. Needless to say, I have to believe at some point their shots start falling.
On the other side of the ball, they still need work and adjustments from the coaching staff. Defensive rebounding continues to be an issue, which is affecting their pace of play, and they continue to employ an aggressive pick-and-roll scheme that isn’t best suited for this roster.
A lot of the Bulls success is this season is going to hinge on whether or not Jim Boylen can become a better coach; making adjustments and in-game management, as noted by The Athletic’s Stephen Noh.
But tonight feels like a must-win game for the Bulls. Sitting at 3-7, they’re still not out of the early playoff picture in the East. Somehow.
Otto Porter Jr. is out for his second consecutive game with a bruised foot, and it as noted yesterday that Lauri Markkanen is dealing with oblique soreness, but will play.
Injuries aside, Chicago still has the better talent, and Wendell Carter Jr. has already stated that we won’t see another Portis revenge game tonight.
"Bobby is going to want to put on a show. I'm not going to have it. I hope he's watching this. I ain't having it."— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) November 11, 2019
WCJ isn't about to let Bobby Portis go off tomorrow: https://t.co/dHpKzBP40V pic.twitter.com/Ke6ZTsVVpE
Putting together complete games is still the biggest obstacle for this Bulls team, but as it was the first time against New York, this is another good, and needed opportunity for them to start doing that.
If not, Boylen’s seat should be feeling mighty warm after the game.