Saturday, December 8, 2012
Halftime Report: Bulls 43, Knicks 41
By Ian Begley
The Knicks are in Chicago on Saturday trying to get their sixth straight win -- and their third in their current three-game road trip.
But Chicago is making it tough.
NOT MANY OPEN LOOKS W/OUT MELO: In their first game without Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks got plenty of open looks on the perimeter off of penetration and the pick and roll and hit 18 threes against Miami.
It hasn't been as easy to get open looks against Chicago, the top rated defense in the NBA.
Joakim Noah is doing a solid job guarding the pick and roll and the Bulls have limited the Knicks' penetration. The result?
The Knicks were shooting around 30 percent from the floor for most of the first half.
Raymond Felton (14 points) was the only Knick to make a significant impact on the offensive end, but even Felton had to settle for a jump shot more often than not.
The Knicks went through a brutal scoring drought in the second quarter. Their first field goal of the quarter came with 6:21 to go. It was a J.R. Smith 3-pointer. They fell behind by as many as seven in the quarter before reeling off seven quick points, starting with two two technical free throws from Steve Novak, to tie the game at 37-37.
Taj Gibson was whistled for two technical fouls after arguing a call. Big break for the Knicks.
New York shot just nine threes in the first half. Unlike Miami, Chicago was successful in limiting the Knicks from the perimeter.
TURNOVERS: New York entered play Saturday averaging a league-low 10.8 turnovers per game. The club has 12 in the first half against Chicago. Credit the Bulls' active hands and some sloppy play from New York. J.R. Smith has four turnovers.
The Knicks are doing a good job defense, limiting Chicago to 38 percent shooting from the floor. Luol Deng is 3-for-9 with eight points. Marco Belinelli has crushed the Knicks to the tune of 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting.
FELTON PLAYING IN PAIN: Felton was wincing in pain late in the first quarter after getting hit on the left hand by Gibson. Felton has been playing in pain for the past two games since he suffered a bone bruise in his hand late in the Knicks' win over Phoenix. It hasn't slowed Felton so far. He scored a season-high 27 points in the Knicks' 20-point win over Miami.
It'll be interesting to see if the injury affects him in the second half.