Bulls vs Knicks 8:30 on ESPN/WGN - Rose gametime decision with ankle sprain

The Bulls had their hearts broken in Derrick's return from injury, at least as much as any team with the best record in the NBA can have their heart broken in a regular season game, with a one point overtime loss.

Carmelo Anthony hit a couple of fairly ridiculous threes, which aren't his thing anyway, in order to drag the Knicks over the finish line. Meanwhile, Tyson Chandler was an absolute beast inside, tipping about 50 balls out to the Knicks for offensive rebounds. The Bulls will need to do a better job controlling those two to win the game.

Play a complete game

In the end, the Bulls choked away the game against the Knicks. They had two very good free throw shooters both go 0-2 in the clutch in regulation when a single extra free throw would have earned them the victory. That said, before choking the game away at the end, they failed to show up at the start.

The Bulls had to fight back from a 21 point deficit in order to get back into the game after allowing the Knicks offense to run a layup line for the first quarter. They turned the ball over left and right, didn't box out on the glass, and were really fortunate that the Knicks generally shot the ball like crap from the perimeter.

On top of the offensive rebounds allowed, the Bulls also turned the ball over a ridiculous 19 times while only forcing nine turnovers on the other end. The turnovers are what led to all the easy baskets that allowed the Knicks to compete despite not finding much offense in the half court.

The Bulls may have choked away the game in the end, but they had plenty of flaws all game long that need correcting.

Bulls looked out of sorts trying to defend the smaller Knicks

Chicago never really figured out a good scheme to matchup against the Knicks with Anthony at PF. Anthony simply went off on whomever guarded him, and Tyson Chandler provided enough ammo at center to allow them to compete on the glass.

I'd like to see the Bulls go with a Noah/Taj front-line for awhile to punish the Knicks on the offensive glass for going small. Noah and Taj are also both tremendous perimeter defenders for big men and could manage the role of playing big while giving the team the speed to defend a small lineup.

Will Derrick play? How will he respond?

Rose was in a walking boot on Monday due to an ankle sprain which he played through in Sunday's game. Will Derrick suit up and play? A walking boot doesn't seem like something you shake off in a day, but it could mostly be preventative.

Either way, Rose looked far less explosive than usual on Sunday, and if he's dealing with an ankle, it's unlikely he looks more explosive tonight. Rose, if he plays, will be looking for some serious redemption after accepting the blame for the loss on Sunday afternoon. He missed a couple of clutch free throws and struggled mightily down the clutch.

I'm not worried about Rose shooting free throws or scoring in the clutch overall, but I am concerned about how quickly he can gain back the athleticism which makes him an elite player. Be it mental or physical, we can do naught but hope he's back to his normal self come playoff time.

Go get this one

The Knicks look likely to finish 7th or 8th in the East and since Chicago will finish one or two, there's likely a 50/50 chance that this will represent a first round matchup in the playoffs. Chicago needs to put their stamp on the matchup and show the Knicks which team is the hammer and which team is the nail.

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  • So much for seeing more of that Asik-Noah front court this year.

  • Please Rose don't go Oden on us!!!!

  • When did Derrick Rose get replaced by a glass version of Derrick Rose?

  • They brought Rose back with a bum ankle, tender groin and only a couple weeks to go? Talk about playing with fire...

  • If Rose becomes an injury prone player, you can kiss this edition of the bulls good night

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Might be a good thing. One bad year in the right draft and they could be a juggernaut...

  • Nothing like another injury to make us choke on our own spit. We really need an infusion of talent somewhere to keep this one player from nailing his coffin early on a promising career. If he is in walking boot come Monday.. is a smallish NY team really worth the moral victory when we have Miami looming Thursday? Dont be suprised if you see preacher Derrick Rose on the sidelines again looking rather uncomfortable in a suit.

    And damnit maybe we shouldnt have him play against NY if he ends finishing the game and comes up lame for more games... We dont need bad omen.

  • Deng played 53 minutes in the last game against New York while Jimmy Butler continues to pine away to oblivion. I guess Butler shutting down Melo, or at least defending him very well previously didn't rate an opportunity to contribute..?

    Thibs is who he is, I know, but it may cost him come playoff time, and in the development of drafted players.

    If Derrick is seriously injured with his ankle you obviously have to sit him. Bulls need Lucas and or C.J. to step up big tonight to reinforce legit playoff supporting cast and to win. And Joakim needs big minutes if he's one of your best players, not a nap(26 minutes the last game).

    If RIP(off) doesn't get his minutes upped tonight to say 30, and see what he can do then it reinforces Doug's premise that Thibs now considers Hamilton just another option, and not the definitive starter.

    A lot of questions to be answered tonight, inlcuding responding to a big time gag job on national TV. And Please tell me Derrick's injury is not serious.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    It's been a long dead horse, but I agree on Butler. He's looked great guarding elite SFs, which means he not only could've spelled Luol for a couple minutes--he possibly could've one us the game by slowing Melo a bit!

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I massively agree with both you and Doug today. Deng needs to play far less, Butler needs to be given more time at the expense of both Deng and Brewer. and Thibs is one frustratingly stubborn dude.

    We need to see more of Noah and Taj together to take advantage of the athleticism of both of them together. Rebounding and D are team efforts. You always hear coaches admonish the guys to gang rebound. Being able to switch to shut down pick and roll and penetration are 2 of the bigger keys to shutting down an offense.

    Finally more Taj, Noah and Butler might eliminate the 3 card monty cross match issues that destroyed the Bulls in the first quarter that directly led to the 21 point deficit. As I detailed after the game, the Knicks were going with a straight up positional defensive matchup, while the Bulls were forced to switch matchups at 3 positions in transition. This is all caused directly by the presence of boozer in the lineup and Melo playing power forward for the Knicks.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Recognizing matchups and adjusting quickly is not one of Thibs strengths. It's a head coaching skill, not an assistant's task, so Thibs is learning on the job.

    I don't know whose ego was out-of-control, Rose or Thibs. But the last 3:45 with all the Rose ISOs was insane given its his first game back and obviously rusty and out-of-shape.

    And you know how I feel about my guy Jimmy Butler! It was inexplicable not to play him Sunday against Melo after the great defense he played the two previous Knicks games.
    Glad Jimmy finally got 12 minutes Tuesday night!

  • How bad can Rose's ankle be hurting when he had no limp, didnt mention it postgame, and no one heard a thing until today? I love D-Rose but it sounds to me like another example of him being just a big baby. Consider: We've seen him get knocked out of games from hard hits multiple times, he has missed a third of this season with what can be described as only 'nagging' injuries, he has a well-documented history of being scared of needles and we've seen him cry multiple times after falls/hits/etc. He's a great athlete and a great player, but dude's a crybaby when it comes to pain.

    CJ is playing hurt, Lu is playing very hurt, Booz hasn't missed a game...time to start following their lead, Derrick (and Rip, for that matter).

  • In reply to stakfry526:

    NBA players rate down with Soccer players in terms of toughness perhaps even lower. Football, Hockey and MMA are full of tough badasses comparatively NBA players are like little girls. Case in point the Melo Slap and Run. Which ESPN and the NBA considered a "fight" and he was issued a suspension! As if slapping a grown man and running away on National TV is not punishment enough...

  • In reply to stakfry526:

    It looked like he was limping in the second half to me. I figured it was his groin again. I guess I am glad it wasn't.

  • In reply to stakfry526:

    Shut the F up you idiot!
    Rose is an incredibly tough player and endures tremendous pain, and wear and tear. You are simply showing yourself to be a fool who knows nothing about basketball.

  • It's easy to criticize Rose but when he's been surrounded by crap shooting guards the last few years, I'll reserve judgment until after the playoffs. This team just hasn't been consistent defensively all year and shooting low 40s fg% or worse can win you a few games when you rebound the piss out of the ball but won't work against playoff caliber teams with good shooters/players that can create and get to the ft.

  • as i said all along, Rose is way too overrated, and can't handle the ball, and has more T/Os than assists in many games. Lin or Rondo is much better than him. If Rose didn't play in the last game, we would have won for sure. Trade him for Rondo already.

  • In reply to liztan:

    Ahahahahaha - SHADDAP!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo4llmR7cqg

  • Sounds like Rose is embarrassed for missing crucial free throws again, or he's scared Schumpert the other Chicago product will be all over him and cost him to have another 5 TO's. This kid need to learn how to grow a "SET" and keep them intact and win some big games in the NBA.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Looks like Schumpert is the better defensive guard out of Chicago with a nice offensive game to match.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Are you serious ? Rose embarressed ? scared ?lol
    It takes a lot to make that kid lose his confidence !

  • Whatever Rose is, I think that my contention from day one that he is a bit of or even too much of a Mama's boy is proving to be true.

    I have never known a Mama's boy who I would call a championship leader. Kind of like the guys who look like Adonis in the gym, but break a finger nail if you ask them to help you move the couch 2 feet.

    Maybe, he will mature and grow out of it, but I haven't seen any real change yet.

  • Just thought that I would point out to some if not all of you that Boozer not Noah(who is guarding Fields, the small forward) is "guarding" Chandler, and that because Melo is playing power forward, the bulls are again cross matched at 3 positions all because of mere existance of Boozer.

    So Shamburg fan, is this a fact, an opinion or a rant.

  • Even when we went up 8-0 Knicks continued to play like we're not a real threat. They are 0% scared of us and our tough D. Butler needs to be out there, shutting down Melo, and forcing New York to pay attention...

    Nice! Van Gundy just announced that Deng will switch to Fields and Butler will come in to guard Melo.

    Also: The claims that Rose is soft, a mama's boy, or whatever are just plain ignorant. I do think DR should reach out to Jordan and get advice about dealing with an injury-plagued year early in his career. Rose is no Jordan, but it's a relatively similar situation as 1985-86.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    Actually, I bet that Rose his brothers and his Mama, would tell you that he was indeed Mama's boy, they already pretty much have.

    Whether that upbringing affects his toughness to become a champion caliber leader is yet to be seen.

    Just because you point out a characteristic about someone, that is not considered positive doesn't make it ignorant(plain or otherwise), and it doesn't mean that you dislike that person or are against him, it is called being honest about reality.

    Now, denying reality that could be just plain ignorant, and in any event usually doesn't turn out well.

  • Well, thank god, it only took Van Gundy another so called coaching genius nearly 5 quarters of play to identify that the crossmatching in transition from offense to defense is what was killing the Bulls, even if he misidentified the actual crossmatches themselves. It only took me about 2 possessions to figure that out, but I am just a ranter who knows nothing about the game, or how it should be played.

    Then finally, Thibs gets boozer for Taj, half or mostly solving the issue, but he immediately pulls another bonehead, bringing Butler for Noah instead of Deng, as Anthony is scoring on Deng as if he were Casper the ghastly ghost.

    Oh, well, at least maybe there is some recognition tonight vs none what so ever last Sunday. Good point by JVG about the bulls having learned nothing from last game about ball security.

    WTF, why bother, maybe I'll just take a pain killer and a xanax and watch the rest of the game with boozers attitude.

  • Did Kyle Korver just win that game for us offensively, defensively and on the boards.

    Nice of Deng to knock down 2 free throws up 12 with 10 seconds left, not a choke situation I guess.

    Doug, are you ready to make a one game trend call after tonight, Rose is a bust, Hamilton is awesome.

    Actually, that is exactly what we need from both Hamilton and Korver a solid 20-25 minutes of offensive contributions, not 30-35 minutes of mediocrity.

    Finally, I don't care if you have 50 years of experience as the Albert Einstein of NBA coaches, matching up anyone besides Noah or Asik against Chandler, who is one of the 3-4 longest players in the league is asinine.

    Both Taj and Boozer are undersized as power forwards, while Taj busts his ass, he is simply too small to play Chandler straight up, and boozer in addition to being short, squat and possessing feet of stone has a midget heart, brain and motor.

    At least the Thibaboozer finally had enough of the Mataboozer escorting Knicks to the rim for uncontested layups and replaced him with Noah for the last 3 minutes. I guess he is dense but not that dense.

    Here's hoping that Rose is ready to go on Thursday.
    I still don't want to have to play the Knicks in the first round, I really want to see them to play Miami. The is nothing that we can really do about it, as we can end up 1 or 2 and the Knicks can end up 7,8 or even 9.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree, Korver was brilliant.

    Really liked the Bulls being back to the grind out a win sort of form, I'm happy to see more ugly games like that one so long as the Bulls win.

  • I swear Rip taught DRose these "this and that" injuries.

    Most awkward moment of the night on the local broadcast:

    Stacey King declaring that he was turning Neil out.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    Cue the haters spewing nonsense about how the Bulls are better without DRose because they beat the Knicks without him and lost with him.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    They beat miami and boston too without him.

  • What was so enjoyable to me was to see multiple players contributing on offense - other than when Lucas was hogging the ball. Maybe Rose decided to hog on Sunday because of watching Lucas during the 4 weeks he missed.

    Anyway, it was so refreshing to see Rip taking charge on offense and creating. And Korver contributing in many ways in addition to his shooting. It's team play like this that we can be proud of as fans.

    Jimmy Butler deserves a small but regular spot in the rotation, while playing Deng 36-38 instead of 42-45.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Let's hope d rose understand now that he doesnt have to hog the ball for the team to have success. the bulls only shot at a title is if the team plays together and has multiple contributers like this win.

  • In reply to rob32:

    AGREED 100%.
    Bulls roster does not fit conventional coaching cliches, such as 'shorten the rotation in the playoffs.' That would be a BIG MISTAKE for this team. The Bench Mob and teamwork with different players stepping up will be the only way Bulls can win a title.

  • In reply to Edward:

    That will have to wait until next season when at a minimum Brewer will not be back.

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