CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 10: Richard Hamilton #32 of the Chicago Bulls shoots under pressure from Baron Davis #85 of the New York Knicks at the United Center on April 10, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Well, I guess splitting a home-and-home with Chicago isn't much to complain about, but it was still disappointing to see the Knicks get trampled by a Derrick Rose-less bunch of Bulls. Carmelo Anthony had another excellent scoring game, but like StarksMiddleFinger said in the game thread, the Knicks looked very much like a team without a point guard. Baron Davis made some plays, but mostly just loafed around and handed out turnovers, leaving guys like Iman Shumpert, Landry Fields, and J.R. Smith to freelance way more than we'd like. With very few opportunities in transition and minimal ball movement in the halfcourt, New York sorta just puttered around missing jumpers. They couldn't get easy looks and couldn't draw a foul.
Their defense on the Bulls wasn't terrible, but once again, they gave up heaps of offensive rebounds and in a new, unpleasant wrinkle, Shump and friends weren't quite as clingy around the perimeter and allowed Chicago to get silly from downtown. Those o-bounds, long jumpers, and heavy bench contributions (and a nauseatingly productive third quarter from Rip Hamilton) were more than enough for Chicago to roll to victory, even without Rose.
I'm not too worked up about this one, but New York's loss drops them back below the 76ers (who won tonight) to eighth in the conference. Winning tomorrow night against the Bucks has been elevated from important to absolutely imperative. It's late, so that's all I've got for now, but I'll save my notes for the morning. (Though, to be honest, I might just want to move on from this one. It wasn't fun at all.) Night, y'all.