The Knicks are probably happy with any win they can get these days. Maybe when they get Tyson Chandler back things will improve some for them, though I don't know how Tyson Chandler helps an offense that scored a mere 83 points on a Chicago defense missing its two best perimeter defenders.
Either way, as sad as things are in New York, with no draft pick to hope for at the end of the year, the Knicks are much better off with a desperation playoff run than a trip to the lottery.
The Bulls are in a different ship all together. While I'm not sure my view of hoping for the draft pick is the majority view, and it may not even be the correct view (though I obviously think it is), it's certainly a credible view. Maybe it's just a defense mechanism to make the season easier to swallow.
The Bulls had a listless first half, the Knicks going on a 19-0 run to take a 16 point half time lead that they'd build up to 23 in the third quarter. Still, Chicago, being Chicago, fought back to tie the game. Then the offense fell apart and turned the ball over virtually ever possession the rest of the games, the Knicks scored a couple times, and it was all over.
Even though I'm rooting for the pick, it's nice to see the players still care. They still want to win. They're still driving hard, working, trying to get it done. That hurts a bit to watch to be honest. Quality players don't tank though. They always think they can win. Always push.
You wonder how much fight this team has. Despite all the horrificness, the Bulls are still in eighth, though just a half game ahead of Cleveland, a game ahead of Toronto, and a game and a half ahead of Brooklyn. Players are likely thinking just make the playoffs and hope we're healthy and playing well then.
They won't give up unless they really fall out of it, they'll look at the standings too. The Bulls won't likely ever [i]really[/i] fall out of the playoffs this season. Not once they get Butler/Deng back. The East is simply too bad to fall into a huge hole. They hold the final playoff spot despite winning only 40% of their games now.
Kirk Hinrich vs Nate Robinson
I'm going to bring this up because a huge contingent of people went nuts about how much better Kirk Hinrich was than Nate Robinson last season. Looking at the Bulls record with/without Kirk as evidence that Kirk must be amazing.
Well look at Kirk Hinrich now that the Bulls don't have a player to come in and take the scoring load off of the whole team for huge swaths of time without allowing the Bulls to completely fall in the tank. Last year with Robinson/Belinelli, despite being inefficient offensive players, the Bulls were a surprise positive team.
This year without getting that volume shot creation out of anyone the team has transformed into one of the worst in the NBA without Derrick Rose. There are other factors at play, but the Bulls are routinely shooting in the mid 30%s as a team now and not having a guy who can come in and make a decent percentage of bad looks is destroying their offense.
Kirk Hinrich looks especially pathetic when not surrounded by a bunch of players who can score, and while it's perhaps unfair to ask him to do what Nate Robinson did, it should be crystal clear to everyone that he has absolutely no hope of doing so. Nate Robinson may have shot you out of one in two games, but put in the same role, Kirk will shoot you out of four of five.
Now I'm not saying that Hinrich is god awful and has no strengths, there are things he does better than Robinson, and it's worth acknowledging those things. As a defensive backup/guy running the offense who isn't relied upon to do much offensively except move the ball around and not turn it over, Kirk does a solid job.
That's just not a whole lot, and though I doubt the Bulls were considering trading Hinrich, after his recent play moving him for a trade exception might be a stretch now.
Bulls sign Augustin pending physical
Is D.J. Augustin the best point guard on the Chicago Bulls as soon as he passes the physical? Marquis Tank and Captain Clank have been leading the ship into the ground. Despite Augstin's small size, streaky game, and relative crappyness that had him get waived in general, the Bulls desperately need what he brings.
A guy who can create and knock down a shot. I could see Augustin significantly helping the team as presently constructed because he comes in and fills that Nate Robinson role the Bulls are missing. That said, he probably doesn't fill it as well as they need, so it will be interesting to see the results.
With Thibodeau desperately looking for any option that's not Marquis Teague, Augustin will likely get 15-20 minutes the second he lands in Chicago to try and prove himself.