New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls / NBA – After two games played in Chicago (and two tight Bull’s victories) the two teams meet in New York for the first time this season. Neither team can say it plays good and victory would come handy to any of them to re-establish their self-confidence. Begins: 11.01.2018 – 01:30 CET
New York Knicks
Before game with the Bulls New York won the Mavs in Dallas 100-96. In that way the Knicks had ended three-game losing streak but it we take a look at last nine games we can see they won just two times. Out of those nine games they played seven outside their MSG arena and they are surely eager to play again in it. New York played two head-to-head with the Bulls this season and both times they lost by small point difference (102-104 and 87-92). The Knicks have win/loss ration19-21 and in front of their fans they have won 15 and lost 7 games.
They have problem with injuries of Hardaway Jr. and Beasley, while Noah is still far from his ideal form. They have decided to sing guaranteed contract with experienced guard Jack, and he “thanked” with decisive point against the Mavs. Realistically, the team mostly depends on Porzingis (23.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game on average), while centre Kanter has double-double average. Fans are delighted with performances of veteran Beasley who averages 12 points and 5 rebounds. From the statistic side, guard Lee has hit 43 consecutive free throws and he needs just one more to equalise the Knicks record set by Chris Duhon in season 2008/09.
Probable lineups New York Knicks: Jack, Lee, Thomas, Porzingis, Kanter
When Mirotic returned on the court the Bulls seemed reborn and unstoppable. However, in last two weeks they are in crisis and out of six games the Bulls lost five, including three lost in a row before going to New York. Encouraging news for the Bulls fans is that last summer arrival LaVine will finally return on the court (he arrived from the Wolves together with Dunn in exchange for Butler and Gibson) and his debut day is Saturday, January 13, when the Bulls will face the Pistons in the United Centre.
The Bulls won 14 and lost 27 games, and outside Chicago have won just 5 games and lost even 16. They won two previous games with the Knicks and it is interesting that guard Dunn had resolved both of them with free throws. The Bulls had managed to stop the Knicks to shoot from outside positions in both those games but most of all they were calm in finishes of both games. These days there is a rumour running about trade that include Mirotic, for whom Utah Jazz is the most interested. All this is obviously a hint that the Bulls wants to invest more in young Markkanen.
Probable lineups Chicago Bulls: Dunn, Holiday, Valentine, Markkanen, Lopez
New York Knicks – Chicago Bulls PICK
The Knicks are more efficient that the Bulls this season and have better defence as well (receive 4.2 points fewer on average), while shooting from the field is also their stronger side comparatively. However, they didn’t use that and were defeated both times in the Windy City. Because of that we believe this game will be very equal and that the Bulls can exploit the Knicks’ crisis.
Pick: Chicago +5 points
Odds: 1.90 at betvictor (down to 1.82 can be played)