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Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks: Injury Report, Preview, and Open Thread

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Afternoon Basketball

NBA: New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (20-39) at New York Knicks (17-42)

4:00 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago

Injury Report:

Wendell Carter is back! Starting and on a minutes restriction. Denzel Valentine is also active for the first time in a while.

Coby White recently tweaked his back and is questionable for the game tonight.

The latest casualty is Luke Kornet who is out six to eight weeks with a foot and ankle injury.

In New York Knicks land, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, and our boy Taj Gibson are listed as day-to-day. Our boy Taj is listed as probable to play though.

Season Series:

Back at the beginning of the season when Bulls fans were hopeful not jaded, reality came crashing down onto our heads when the Bulls lost to the Knicks 105-98 as part of a 1-3 start to the season.

Two weeks later, the Bulls redeemed themselves beating the Knickerbockers 120-102 at the United Center. This was a Coby mania game: the Bulls rookie dropped 27 points and was a +27 in the game. For most rookies, this would have been a season-best performance. But White has topped 27 points on four occasions already this season.

Preview:

It’s difficult to find a redemptive quality in a late February game between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks (they have the second-worst record in the league).

The fact that the game is in the afternoon and the weather is going to be a lot nicer than it has been in Chicago further dilutes the watch-ability factor. But, still watch. Here’s why:

  • If you aren’t going to tune in for the Bulls watch out of respect for Taj Gibson. Our favorite hard hat, lunch pail guy (BasketballBallReference.com lists this as his nickname) is unfortunately spending his age 34 season with the New York Knicks. He’s getting a career low in playing time although his scoring and rebounding stats are still all right. He has one more season left under contract with the Knicks before becoming a free agent in 2021 at the age of 36. We’re running out of opportunities to watch Gibson play professional basketball, so enjoy every moment while you still can. That actually hit me hard writing that.
  • Coby White is battling a back tweak and is listed as questionable for the game. For the love of God, please let him play. White’s run of 30+ point games is historic for a rookie and he is becoming must-watch television right now. White has been so good in fact, that Zach LaVine’s 32 points against the Washington Wizards and 41 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder is secondary news. Both guys are plain electrifying to watch on the offensive end right now.
  • For the first time since Jan. 6, we might get to see Wendell Carter Jr. play basketball. He told NBC Sports Chicago writer K.C. Johnson that there is an 80 or 90 percent chance that he plays. The debut of a key piece after a long injury layoff is another reason to watch this game.