Less than two weeks into the month of March, it’s almost impossible to predict the match-ups for the upcoming NBA Playoffs, still more than one month away.
The likeliest scenario for the Bulls, would have them opening up against the New York Knicks, and if that’s the case, we get our first look at this Knicks team tonight at the United Center.
The Bulls beat the Knicks February 2 at Madison Square Garden, but that was when Jeremy Lin was receiving DNP-CD’s on a nightly basis.
And if you’ve turned on a television in the last month and a half, you know the Knicks’ season can only be evaluated in Pre-Lin and Post-Lin terms. Lin has regressed since the All-Star break, struggling against some of the league’s elite point guards.
Tonight will be another difficult test for the young point guard, matching up against Derrick Rose, who should give Lin all he can handle.
The Knicks may have caught the Bulls at the right time, with several key pieces to this potential championship puzzle being bitten by the injury bug. Of course, Rip Hamilton (shoulder) will be out once again and C.J. Watson (ankle) remains on the shelf. Luol Deng’s wrist will also keep him out of action tonight.
The Bulls are 34-9, 1 1/2 games ahead of Miami for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Knicks, losers of five straight, are currently 8th place in the East, just one game ahead of Milwaukee and Cleveland.