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Carmelo the best player, Bulls the best team and get win

Apr 11, 2012, 2:37 AM EDT

Iman Shumpert, Joakim Noah, Richard Hamilton AP

It really wasn’t much along the lines of revenge. It really wasn’t much of a statement either.

What happened when the Bulls beat the Knicks 98-86 Tuesday night is that the better team won. Emphasis on team. And the fact the Bulls did it without Derrick Rose (out with an ankle injury) should scare Knicks fans, because these teams could well meet in the first round.

Yes, the Knicks and Bulls split a home-and-home and some Knicks fans may try to take solace in that. But for the Knicks to win the first game it took a rusty game from Derrick Rose (although Iman Shumpert deserves some credit for his defense), four key late missed free throws by Rose and Luol Deng, some monster tip-outs by Tyson Chandler and an epic game from Carmelo Anthony — and the Knicks still needed overtime. At home.

That’s not going to happen four times in seven games. Even if they get Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin back. The Bulls are the better squad.

Like Sunday, on Tuesday Anthony may have been the best player on the floor — he had 29 points on 19 shots, he got to the line, he played solid defense and he also dished out five assists.

But it was ‘Melo against the world — Knicks not named Anthony shot 37 percent on the night. They got swarmed by the Bulls defense.

On the other side Richard Hamilton found his groove moving off the ball and finding seams, scoring 18 of his 20 in the third quarter to help Chicago solidify their lead. If the Bulls are going to make a deep playoffs run, they need this Rip Hamilton to show up nightly.

Then in the fourth it was the Kyle Korver show as he had 11 points in the final frame. That was enough offense for the Bulls defense.

In both games, the Bulls dominated the paint and the boards. Chicago grabbed the offensive rebound on 35.5 percent of their missed shots and that led to 25 second chance points. If the Knicks are to stand a chance in a potential playoff matchup with the Bulls that has to change — Tyson Chandler had 15 boards but he needs help.

Both of these teams now have key showdown games ahead. For the Knicks it’s the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday — New York is currently one game ahead of them for the last playoff spot in the East. If the Bucks win not only do they tie the Knicks the Bucks will win the season series and have the tiebreaker.

For the Bulls, it’s the Heat on Thursday night in a likely Eastern Conference Finals showdown.

  1. gmsingh - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    Nothing the Heat are doing at the end of the season here leads me to believe that they make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. For some reason the Heat Hype Machine keeps skipping the middle part where they actually have to win the games.

  2. diamondmo33 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    Believe the hype… Miami will be in the ecf

  3. berto55 - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    As a Bulls fan, I wish you were right. As someone who believes what I see, the Heat will be waiting if the Bulls can get there. The Heat are just cruising, they’ll flip on the switch. Unfortunately, the good and bad thing about Thibs is the switch is always stuck on for the Bulls, I’m not so sure they have a “next level” to go to because they’ve played that way all year.

    • chitownmatt - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      The idea that talented teams can “switch on” when they need to and cruise when they don’t is a load of BS.
      Sure the superstar players shine brightest during the big games, but the best “teams” absolutely have to play at their highest level all the time. Its through habit and repetition that guys gel and learn to play together. There is no room in professional sports for BAD habits.
      The only time you really trust your teammate and count on the guy next to you when the S-H-T-F is when you have seen them do it before and you know in your heart they can do it again.
      The more the Heat “cruise” the less relevant their role-players become. If they keep it up, when the playoffs come, they will only have LBJ and Wade. and they might be enough, but probably not.

    • gmsingh - Apr 12, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      You’ve been listening to much Chicago sports radio. Thibodeau is rapidly becoming the Vince Lombardi of basketball: winning is the only thing. David Stern has turned the league into a pile of hype and prima donnas (read: LeBron James), and now when someone comes along and plays team basketball to the tune of being the fastest coach ever to win 100 games (and will he be the only coach ever to post the best record in the league his first two seasons?), we get people complaining that he is pushing his team too hard. Lombardi wanted his team to leave everything on the field every time they played–apparently, though, “coasting” to the playoffs is the cool thing to do now.

  4. nokoolaidcowboy - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    Here is the problem with Carmelo Anthony. Lala’s boy all but disappeared yesterday. At one point it was hard to remember that he was on the floor, Consistency? Yeah, a lack of consistency as a leader on the floor.

    • pbanach01 - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Did you really just reference la la on a basketball forum? Wow your very in touch with your ummmm reality television-side. IF you watched the game you would realize the Knicks were taking terrible shots the whole game and mostly because they have no true point guard to set them up. Melo had 29 and didn’t dissapear besides when he was on the bench. Some possessions were one shot and pass therefore Melo wouldn’t even get a touch but to say he disappeared would not be correct.
      Once again IF you watched the game you would see he was playing tough defense on Boozer and dishing out five assists along with carrying his team offensively (knicks looked gross). I love Anthony and am not blind to the fact that he has disappeared in games earlier this yr (mike d era). However he is healthy now and playing hard on every single possession. Your probably not a NY fan so you wouldn’t watch or pay attention closely enough which would mean your observations are tainted or downright incorrect which would make your opinion useless.
      I really would like to start a website where educated and Knowledgeable basketball fans can share their opinions and thoughts without ignorant posts and 8th graders typing nonsense. Obviously majority of people will not agree because everyone has different opinions but come on I would love to have educated debates based on facts and not posts containing reality show references and faulty observations.

    • nygrwy - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      I would not go that far. No one else was a threat on offense so they doubled Melo and forced him into a lot of bad shots.

      Bottom line is the knicks got outplayed. We are back to the PG problems like beginning of the year. I would not be surprised if the Knicks dont make the playoffs. Too much to come back from this year

  5. emaimo80 - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    I’m a heat fan, we are not going anywhere with Shane Battier on our team! Wish we would figure this out already because I did!

  6. sicklife1 - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Well, isn’t this the most obvious statement of the year. I am a Knicks fan, and we all know the Bulls are a better team than us. That being said, lets not discredit the Knicks win the on Sunday by saying Rose was “rusty”. The Bulls would’ve lost by a wider margin on Sunday if Rose didn’t play. He kept the game close & brought them back. I can guarantee one thing….if we do meet the Bulls in the playoffs (if we even make the playoffs), we will give them a run for their money. The Knicks won’t win the series, but it will take a tough 6 games & we’ll wear the Bulls out. This Knicks team with Woodson as head coach plays hard nosed defense, and actually takes pride in their play when they step on the floor. They’re playing more like the late 90’s/early 2000’s teams that I grew up with. Nice to see…finally defense has come back to NY!!!!

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