Written by William Lee
New York continued their losing ways in matinee games.
New York got throttled by Chicago in a Sunday matinee game. These teams are complete polar opposites. While Chicago’s management tried to tank the season for a projected outstanding 2014 draft class, by trading their leading scorer Luol Deng, the Bulls didn’t sulk. The Bulls refused to give in, and continued to give maximum effort every night, and the results speak for themselves. Chicago is an impressive 20-8 after trading Deng early in January.
New York on the other hand looks to have talent on paper, but the sums do not add up to the whole. New York does not play with effort, does not play with any passion or urgency. It was another case of that Sunday afternoon, as the Knicks allowed the Bulls to jump out to a 12-1 lead within two and half minutes of tip off. Joakim Noah was destroying New York on hand off screens, creating the breathing room needed for shooters to get a clean shot. Noah created three of these opportunities for his Bulls teammates during the quick outburst to start the game.
After a quick timeout to try to stop the Bulls’ momentum, the Knicks missed, and Noah grabbed the rebound and went coast to coast for a layup. Not exactly what Mike Woodson drew up (if he draws up any plays in the huddle). Chicago hit the 20 points mark before it was even mid-way through the first quarter, and this is a team that is the worst offensive team in the league at 93.1 points per game. When it was all said and done, the Knicks would allow Chicago to score 37 points in the first quarter. 37 points is the most points scored by the Bulls in any individual quarter all season.
New York would make a little comeback in the second quarter, but Chicago still held a firm grip on the lead by the end of the first half 59-48. Within two quarters of play Joakim Noah performance was so impressive, that he almost had himself a triple double at the half, with 11 points 8 rebounds and 10 assists. Noah would not only finish the game with a triple double, but would also finish the game with a career high in assist, collecting 14 by games end. Noah finished the game with an impressive +23 +/- on 13 points 12 rebounds and 14 assists, adding in a couple of steals and blocks for good measure.
The game was essentially done, and non-competitive since tip off, Chicago won easily defeating New York 109-90.