Chicago and New York meet up for the third time this season in the December 2nd Bulls at Knicks matchup. Tom Thibodeau made some changes to the NYK lineup over the weekend, but so far the team is just 1-1 since moving Alec Burks into the starting PG spot while also taking Kemba Walker out of the rotation.
The Bulls have had some rough ones lately too, dropping three of their last five games. This will be the first visit to Madison Square Garden this season for Chicago, who split two games with the Knicks at the United Center so far in 2021/22. The Bulls are -2 point favorites on Thursday night.
Bulls Have Great Depth
Chicago is coming off a 133-119 win over Charlotte on Monday night where five players had at least 14 points. Nikola Vucevic had his best game of the season with 30 points and 14 rebounds, something the Bulls hope he can build on heading into Thursday night’s matchup.
The Hornets have the worst defense in the NBA, so the 133 points have to be taken with a grain of salt. The Bulls had actually lost three of four games prior to that, and in some ugly ways such as a 109-77 defeat at home against the Pacers and then losing at last place Houston as -9.5 favorites.
Just because New York has a better defense than the Hornets doesn’t mean Chicago can’t have some offensive success in the December 2nd Bulls at Knicks matchup. DeMar DeRozan has been a revelation as an offseason signing (25.9) and together with Zach LaVine (25.3) they make up one of the most potent scoring duos in the NBA. Lonzo Ball could be sniffing a triple-double playing on the big stage at Madison Square Garden as well.
Knicks Need to Get on Track
Thibodeau felt the need to shake things up last week mostly because the Knicks haven’t been able to consistently win games. They’ve alternated wins and losses over their last 9 and Thibodeau is hoping a roster realignment is what the squad needs to start stringing victories together.
The lineup moves worked right away with the Knicks getting a 99-90 win in Atlanta on Saturday night even as +8 point underdogs playing on the back to back. New York still couldn’t put a win streak together though, losing 112-110 in Brooklyn on Tuesday but they were +6 point underdogs in that tilt. Alec Burks has been great in the starting role, scoring 23 and 25 points since taking over PG duties.
Thursday is the rubber match of the year so far between these two teams, The Knicks won 104-103 at the end of October but Kemba Walker had 21 points in that matchup. The Bulls got back with a 109-103 victory on November 21st despite 34/10 from Julius Randle.
December 2nd Bulls at Knicks Pick
If the alternating wins and losses trend continues the Knicks are in line for a victory on Thursday night. They’ve managed to split with the Bulls at the United Center so their chances of success should be good at MSG. New York did suffer the loss with their new lineup on Tuesday, but losing by 2 at Brooklyn isn’t a bad showing.
Knicks 111 – Bulls 107
Free Pick: Knicks +2