Pre-Gamin’: Knicks vs. Bulls (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Knicks vs. Bulls (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Bulls

Not only is tonight’s game one of the most highly-anticipated regular-season matchups for Bulls fans in quite some time, but we get to watch a franchise legend get the recognition he deserves.

If you haven’t already, embrace the Joakim Noah content.

Game Info

New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls – 7:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV) and 670 The Score (Radio)

Stream the game online here with your cable provider.

Projected Starters

Chicago Bulls

1. Lonzo Ball
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Patrick Williams
5. Nikola Vucevic

Injury report: Coby White OUT (shoulder), Zach LaVine ACTIVE (thumb)

Head coach Billy Donovan announced before the game that LaVine will take the court. Watching how comfortable he looks on the floor (specifically, his ballhandling) will be a major storyline to follow throughout the course of this game.

New York Knicks:

1. Kemba Walker
2. Evan Fournier
3. RJ Barrett
4. Julius Randle
5. Mitchell Robinson

Injury report: Nerlens Noel OUT (knee)

What to Watch For …

•   As weird as it is to type, the New York Knicks are a good basketball team. I may not believe they are the 4th-place crew that last year’s standings implied, but I can not deny the intriguing talent that fills this roster. The team has started the 2021-22 campaign off with a strong 3-1 start, including an opening night win over the Boston Celtics and a double-digit victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Both victories were in large part thanks to their offensive production, which was not that this group was known for during their successful run last season. In fact, the offense has been good enough to have the 4th-best offensive rating through the first week of the season, which includes averaging the second-most points per game behind only the Charlotte Hornets.

•  The Bulls’ defense has looked far better than advertised to start the year (4th in DEFRTG), but they also have yet to play a team with as much offensive versatility as this Knicks group. Tonight should give us a better idea of whether or not the Bulls’ early-season defensive success is something to rave about or something to question.

•   New York has allowed their opponents to chuck up the most 3-point attempts in the league thus far, which makes me wonder whether or not we will see Chicago unleash from behind the arc tonight. While the Bulls actually have the highest 3-point percentage in the league over their first four games, they have shot the fewest attempts of any team. With LaVine, Ball, and Vucevic out there, it’s hard not to think we will see that number increase soon.

•   Patrick Williams is going to have his hands full. My guess is the second-year forward draws the Julius Randle assignment for most of the night, and how well he hangs up could prove to have the greatest impact on the final score. The organization demonstrated extreme trust in his ability to be an impact defender this season with the moves in the frontcourt (or rather lack thereof) made this offseason, and proving them right must start tonight.

•   The Knicks are pretty deep. Between Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Taj Gibson, and Alec Burks, New York has a strong mix of youthful energy and veteran savvy to throw on the Bulls off the bench. DeRozan’s leadership of that young second unit will be big tonight, as will Alex Caruso’s ability to add a little extra juice on the offensive end (somebody has to help combat Rose’s scoring).

•   We talked more about this matchup in this morning’s bullets …

•   Also … this is just the beginning of a much tougher schedule.


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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.