The NBA is set up with an action packed night of basketball throughout Wednesday. Ten games will be up on the board throughout the night of February 3. One of these matchups will be between the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls. These two teams are entering this one as they battle for a playoff spot in the East. This game will tip off at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.
New York has opened up this new campaign with a record of 9-13, which has them in tenth place of the Eastern Conference. The Knicks have lost back to back games and five of their last six entering Wednesday nights tilt. New York will look to bounce back with a win in this one. I expect the Knicks to try and come out strong as they look to set the pace in this one.
The Bulls have put up a record of 8-11 throughout the early part of this season, which has them in ninth place of the Eastern Conference. Chicago is coming off a win in their last game, which ended a three game losing streak. The Bulls will look to build off that win as they meet up with the Knicks. If Chicago can carry over momentum from their last win, it could help them get the victory.
These two teams have not been great to begin this season, but find themselves right outside the playoff picture. I expect a good one between these two teams as they meet in the second half of a back to back. Both teams need this win as they try to claw their way into the eighth seed in the East. This should be a good game to watch on Wednesday night.
The Knicks and the Bulls met up three times throughout last season. New York hosted the first game on October 28. Zach LaVine had 21 points, while Wendell Carter finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. It was not enough for Chicago though. Bobby Portis had 28 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. R.J. Barrett added 19 points and 15 rebounds to help give the Knicks a 105-98 win.
Chicago hosted the second game of the season series on November 12. Marcus Morris put up 22 points and R.J. Barrett scored 21, but this time New York came up short. Coby White dropped 27 points off the bench, while Zach LaVine finished with 25 points. Wendell Carter added 17 points and 12 rebounds, which helped give the Bulls a 120-102 win at home.
The final game of the season series shifted back to New York on February 29. Zach LaVine scored 26 points and Coby White added 22, but Chicago could not pull off the win. Mitchell Robinson dropped 23 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Knicks. Julius Randle added 22 points and 10 rebounds to help New York secure a 125-115 win.
The first game of this season’s series was hosted by Chicago on February 1. Julius Randle put up 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Alec Burks added 18 off the bench. This time the Knicks could not pull out the victory. Lauri Markkanen finished with 30 points on the night. Zach LaVine dropped 21 points to help lead the Bulls to a 110-102 win.
Field Goal Shooting
The Knicks have not shot well to open up this season. New York has been able to make around 44.5 percent of their shots from the field, which is 25th in the league. The Knicks are also shooting 34.4 percent from behind the arc, which is 26th in the NBA. New York has made 76.7 percent of their shots from the free throw line, which is 14th in the league.
Chicago has been strong shooting the ball throughout the early part of this season. The Bulls have shot 47.6 percent from the field, which is 7th in the NBA. Chicago is also shooting 38.6 percent from deep this season, which is 5th in the league. The Bulls have made 79.7 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which is 7th in the NBA.
The Bulls have a clear edge shooting the ball in this one, but New York’s defense has been much better. The Knicks have held opposing teams to a 43.3 percent shooting percentage from the field, which is best in the league. Chicago has allowed their opponents to make 47.8 percent of their shots from the field, which is 27th in the NBA. If New York’s defense can take over, it could give them an edge in this one.
Julius Randle has been the leader for this Knicks team early in the season. Randle has averaged 22.5 points and 11 rebounds per game. R.J. Barrett is averaging 18 points per game, while Alec Burks has averaged 14 points per game off the bench. Immanuel Quickly is averaging 12.5 points per game off the bench as well. Elfrid Payton helps round out this lineup, averaging 11.5 points per game.
Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen have helped lead this young Chicago team this season. LaVine is averaging 26.5 points per game. Markkanen has averaged 20.5 points per game. Coby White is averaging 15.5 points, while Otto Porter Jr. is averaging 11.5 points per game. Thaddeus Young has averaged 10.5 points per game to help off the bench.
The Bulls have been hit with injuries as of late. Wendell Carter Jr. is out and Otto Porter Jr. could be out again in this one. Chicago will look for some players to step up in their absence, but this could give an edge to the Knicks. New York will look to come out quickly in this one as they try to knock off this injured Bulls squad. The Knicks should be able to control the paint better with Carter out.
Chicago has been the better team early in this season, but I think that the Knicks have a great chance to earn the win on Wednesday night. New York’s defense should be able to keep this close, which gives solid value to the Knicks. The Bulls are without Carter Jr., which I think can give New York a big edge inside the paint in this one.
BetOnline has Chicago listed as a -160 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Bulls will win this game around 61.5 percent of the time. Chicago is the better team, but this line seems a little big to me. The Bulls won the first game of this back to back, but I think that the Knicks will come out better in this one. As solid underdogs in this one, I think there is a lot of value on New York.