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Pre-Gamin’: Bulls at Knicks (6:30 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Bulls

Game 1: 104-103 Knicks

Game 2: 109-103 Bulls

Game 3: 182-4 Bulls (If I had to guess) 

Game Info

Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks – 6:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV), NBA 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. Javonte Green
4. DeMar DeRozan
5. Nikola Vucevic

Injury report: Mason Plumlee OUT (calf), Cody Martin QUESTIONABLE (illness)

New York Knicks

1. Alec Burks
2. Immanuel Quickley
3. Evan Fournier
4. Julius Randle
5. Mitchell Robinson

Injury report: R.J. Barrett OUT (illness), Nerlens Noel OUT (knee)

What to Watch For …

•   The Chicago Bulls are not seeing the same Knicks team they saw on October 28th. Hell, it’s hard to say they’re even seeing the same Knicks team they saw on November 21st. New York has been on a real rollercoaster ride so far this season, starting the season hot before hitting a pretty massive offensive slump that is now slowly trending back in the right direction. Tom Thibodeau has had real problems finding consistent production from his starting lineup, and it resulted in the removal of Kemba Walker entirely from the team’s rotation. Don’t get me wrong, the 11-10 Knicks are still not to be taken lightly thanks to a talented roster and always physical defense. But I think it’s worth noting that which Knicks team the Bulls will get tonight is a bit up in the air.

•   The absence of R.J. Barrett tonight is a big one. As the team’s second-leading scorer, Barrett is an important part of this already-wishy-washy offense. Not to mention, the third-year player has posted two strong games against the Bulls already this season, scoring 20 points in Game 1 and grabbing 15 rebounds in Game 2. Removing him from the equation certainly gives the Bulls one less do-it-all talent to worry about as they try to take the season series lead.

•   Speaking of rebounding, this is a department the Bulls greatly improved in from one game to the next against this Knicks squad. The team was outrebounded 49-37 in their first meeting before evening the playing field 44-44 a couple of weeks back. They did this without Vucevic through a communal effort on the glass, as DeRozan, LaVine, Ball, and Jones all hauled in at least 6 rebounds. Even with the return of their starting center tonight, the Bulls have to make sure they prioritize this group effort against the 13th-best rebounding team in the league to find success.

•   Julius Randle dropped 34 points and 10 rebounds on the Bulls the last time they matched up, but they were able to force him into 5 turnovers and shut down the team’s other primary scoring options. The entire team made a much more conscious effort to wait to send help on Randle, giving him less time to think through double-teams and pass to the open man. I expect to see more of the same tonight.

•   Check this out:



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.