Bulls vs Knicks 7pm on ESPN/CSN - Hype Linflated?

Is it just me or has the dust settled on the Jeremy Lin hype? Perhaps we're just used to the story, or perhaps New York's five straight losses have taken the shine off of his play. I'll say this, Carmelo couldn't have been put into a worse situation than to have the Knicks make a huge run behind Lin that ends as soon as he returns to the lineup.

Pressure Lin

Lin isn't a premier athlete, and he's prone to getting blown up when defended by premier athletes. If Chicago pressures him with Rose or Brewer, Lin is going to become a turnover machine in this game, especially against a Bulls defense which typically makes the right rotations and stays home on opponents.

Lin still frequently jumps and decides what to do mid-air which causes him to throw the ball away frequently and can be harassed off the dribble. He's a crafty ball handler and decent shooter, but Chicago should be able to turn Lin's lack of ball protection into a monster game for the Chicago transition attack fairly easily.

Put Noah on Amare

(presuming Noah has recovered enough from the flu to play, otherwise the same thing applies with Asik or Gibson)

Carlos Boozer's giving up monster games to every opposing PF he goes up against. He's played well on offense recently which is nice, but he's getting crushed by opposing PFs as well. Tyson Chandler isn't much of an offensive threat, so if the Bulls swap Noah and Boozer's natural responsibilities around then they'll have Noah defending the high pick and roll rather than Boozer which should bode much better for Chicago.

Amare has become more reliant on the jumper out of the pick and roll this season, and Noah can hang with him on the perimeter while still protecting the drive whereas Boozer will get eaten alive out there.

A whole lot of Derrick driving

Rose should have little problem beating Lin off the dribble. The Knicks do have an athletic front court capable of providing plenty of help at the rim, but neither Chandler or Amare block shots at the rate their size and athleticism say they should, and once Rose beats the initial defender the opposing big man is in a tough spot to try to contest the shot without drawing a foul due to Derrick's quick change of direction.

I look for Rose to have a monster night and with the injuries Chicago has, they may need him to.

Where else does the offense come from?

Against the Jazz, Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver stepped up against their former team. Can Chicago count on either player to have a repeat performance tonight? Boozer's got one of those matchups against a more athletic, taller front court player in which he frequently struggles to get anything done in the lost post while Korver can be taken out of the game by simply focusing on where he is on the court and not leeting him get open.

If the Knicks can shut down those two players, Chicago will be in a tough spot to put points on the board unless Rose has a simply dominant game.

Bulls still find a way to win

Jeremy Lin's wins came against crap teams, and the question as to whether or not the Knicks were revitalized once they went up against the good teams has been answered. They aren't. They're better than they were, but they still aren't good enough. Chicago will almost certainly be missing three of its important perimeter players, but they'll still likely find a way to get it done against the Knicks.



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  • I hope Thibs puts Brewer on Lin for sometime. Brewer is more of a steal kind of defense guy than Deng or Rose.
    Also, it looks like Melo thought just going to a big market will take care of everything(like getting any complementary pieces he needs). The grass is always greener on the other side. Although Howard's game is more transferable, he also might be the next Melo in terms of just wanting a big market and not really looking at winning c'ships 100%.
    You cannot say the same about LeBron. He looked at winning as his main focus after his experience in Cleveland and didn't go to his favorite city(NY)...

  • Rose gets his layup blocked by Lin!!! How embarrassing that must be.

  • Man, if Taj was just 2-3 taller, not only would he be starting for us, I think that he would be an allstar.

  • Man the Knicks fans must be furious with how the Bulls are just making them look silly on the boards.

  • Been a while since we've seen Rose dunk hasn't it? Sweet.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Plus, it's kinda rare to see him dunk one-handed - usually he's throwing it down with both hands.
    Taj was a man among boys tonight!! I agree with BigWay.

  • Although the Bulls were short handed and won....this was a little bit of misleading win. Probably having Deng and CJ would have helped in making some shots. But, this offensive rebounding is too difficult to do against Miami in every playoff game like after Game 1. The Bulls need Deng, Rip so that some of these shots go in and there is no need for offensive rebounds

  • I really liked that play Thibs called where Rose drove, took the double team, passed to an open Boozer for a 15-footer, but instead of shooting Booze lined it down to Noah under the hoop. Good stuff. Noah ended up missing the bucket, which led to the Jimmy Butler dunk, but really it's the play calling and the passing that impresses.

  • A lot of positive things from this game, especially short-handed. The DRose dunk was great, Taj, Jimmy Butler, Team effort as a whole (how many times were guys diving for balls?), offensive rebounding, and I'm sure there are other things I am forgetting.

    I really thought that defensive stretch we had in the middle of the 3rd Q for about 4 possessions changed the game. I think Jo had 2 blocks and there was a jump ball or offensive foul or something but it really gave us momentum and Booze and DRose went to work soon after on offense.

  • My boy, Jimmy Butler, is proving his worth!
    Great game by Taj Gibson.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Who needs Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler, playing like Taj's baby brother.

  • If this doesn't show Thibs that he can trust Jimmy to give Luol some rest then I just don't know what Thibs is watching.

    The greatest strength we have (outside Derrick) is our depth. How many teams could be without 3 of their top 6 scores and still beat playoff calibre teams? If we don't get Dwight then as we move forward into the playoffs Thibs MUST continue to use his reserves. I really don't think Booz minds if Taj plays more minutes than him if we get the win. He played 41 mins v Utah and 22 last night - 2 wins. Yes he earns 10 times more than Taj but putting that aside we must have the best PF combo in the league and can put in the best player for the given circumstance; as we see a lot at the end of games. All players on the team are about winning. Minutes don't seem to be an issue for any player be it Booz, Taj, CJ or KK - they all just play when asked to and don't sulk when pulled because of bad play or matchups. That team strength has to be used when (or should I say IF!!) all players are back. We are 12 deep and rarely lose a beat when any player is in. Luol needs to be nursed the rest of the season - no problems we have won without him (not saying we don't need him) but we can give him more than just 5 mins rest every game. Omer played 30+mins with Jo out so we can give Jo more rest. With CJ back we can give Derrick more rest. If as it seems likely we will go into the post season with the roster we have then we need to look after the guys minutes. We will not win in the post season with 3 of 6 scorers missing so PLEASE THIBS use the bench - it is our strength!!

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    AGREE 100% Jersey66!

    The poise and defensive fundamentals we've seen from Jimmy Butler the last couple games were on full display against Indiana Pacers in that preseason game. How many people remember?!?

    But its taken Thibs 3 months and a severe injury to Luol Deng to finally play Jimmy Butler. Thibs should have been giving Butler a small amount of regular minutes all along AND, as you astutely point out, giving Luol Deng some much needed rest instead of grinding him into exhaustion.

    As you say, the big question is, will Thibs have the wisdom to play The Bench Mob in the playoffs during both the 1st and 2nd halves? Will Thibs capitalize on this teams greatest strength - rather than play Deng, Rose, Noah 40+ minutes every playoff game.

    The Bench Mob outplaying opponents' benches is the key to Bulls advancing deep in the playoffs.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    I have to agree, that right now no one on this team, even boozer seems to care about minutes. It would be interesting to see how boozer would react, if he only played 24 minutes every night, or how Deng would react if he were "limited" to 30 minutes or less.

    Clearly, Butler has shown that he has the ability to contribute regularly to the bench mob, he really looks to me to be a baby Taj Gibson in terms of ability, effort and effect. I really hope to see more of him in the playoffs, not less.

    With everybody healthy, we have at least one too many guys to get everybody regular minutes. Even as Asik seems to be the odd man out right now, who else sits to get Butler minutes, Rip, Brewer, Korver, Watson, Deng?.

    It is a great problem to have, one that will be alleviated next season with the departure of several of the above bodies(read contracts).

  • Great game by Taj, Ronnie, and Jimmy!

    Ronnie with 11 pts, 7 rebounds, 7 assists 31:30 minutes! :-)

    Taj with 15 pts / 13 rebounds (8 offensive)

    Jimmy 8 pts 2 rebounds 1 steal in 29 minutes

    Noah with double/double showing he is a beast and on All-Star team probably if we had a regular season and he warmed up to play like this a month or so before the All-Star game to get the votes needed to play.

    Rose is a All-Star / MVP so we expect him to play awesome! :-)

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