Thursday, October 31, 2013
W2W4: Knicks at Bulls
By Ian Begley
Here are a few things to keep an eye on during Thursday's Knicks-Bulls game:
WILL ROSE PLAY? Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters Derrick Rose is a game-time decision against the Knicks due to soreness. Rose told reporters his neck is a bit sore but he fully intends to play. If Rose sits out, it would be a huge break for New York.
Chicago went 4-0 against the Knicks last season without Rose. But that team had Nate Robinson as a backup point guard. Robinson signed with Denver over the summer, so the Bulls' offense may not be the same without Rose, who had 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting in a 12-point loss to Miami on Tuesday.
Rose's counterpart, Raymond Felton, is banged up, as well. Felton tweaked his left hamstring Wednesday. It's unclear if he'll play against the Bulls.
WHAT LINEUP WILL WOODY GO WITH? Mike Woodson went with a two-point guard lineup to start the season Wednesday. But he plans to change his starting lineup based on the Knicks' opponent. So you can expect Woody to play a more traditional lineup Thursday.
Woodson said after Wednesday's game that he planned to play Bargnani more minutes against Chicago than he played in the opener (17).
CAN BARGNANI GET IT GOING? Speaking of Bargnani, the Knicks' big-ticket offseason acquisition struggled in his debut. The 7-footer went 3-for-9 in the Knicks' win over the Bucks. He heard a smattering of boos while missing his first four shots.
Felton wants the forward to shoot his way out of his early-season funk (Bargnani shot 38 percent in the preseason).
"He's still got to take those shots. It's my job to make sure that he keeps taking them. Everybody goes through a slump," Felton said. "He's on a new team, trying to get familiar with the offense. He's going to struggle at first but we still need him to take those shots and I'm going to demand him to take those shots."