Knicks-Bulls Seems Like Old Times

 

HANG TIME, Texas — The only things missing were Charles Oakley and Patrick Ewing clubbing Michael Jordan like a baby seal as he drove through the lane, Charles Smith missing layups or maybe Jeff Van Gundy derisively referring to Phil Jackson as Big Chief Triangle.

It was just like old times when the Knicks and Bulls collided on Friday night at the Garden — tempers flaring, heads butting, technical fouls flying and, in the end, of course, Chicago winning.

Where else but the Big Apple would it be more appropriate to make snap judgments and leap to hasty conclusions? Especially since the New York media have spent the first third of the season once more pounding the drumbeat of hope — or fantasy — for the Knicks’ first championship since 1973.

This was the second time in two weeks that the feisty Derrick Rose-less Bulls had stuck the Knicks, who are more earthbound at 5-3 since that soaring flight over Miami on Dec. 6.

First, let’s go over the gory details of the Friday Night Fights from main man Marc Berman of the New York Post (that’s BOTP, if you’re a Twitter follower of our hilarious good buddy @FisolaNYDN):

In the worst Garden night of the season during which they fell behind by 25 points late in the third quarter, the Knicks fought the referees, fought the Bulls players, but didn’t fight hard enough to win. As the final buzzer sounded on a discouraging 110-106 loss, coach Mike Woodson, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler — all ejected — weren’t around to hear it.

The loss dropped the Knicks (19-7), percentage points behind Miami (17-6) for best record in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks, who also lost to Chicago two weeks ago, shot 33 percent in the first three quarters and trailed 83-61 and then blew their cool.

First, Anthony got ejected with 6:45 left for a hard slap on the ball held by Joakim Noah, picking up his second technical foul. Then Woodson followed Anthony to an early shower 1:30 later, earning his second technical for profanely berating the referees. Woodson, outcoached by Tom Thibodeau, appeared to mouth “terrible bleeping call,’’ then adding “bleep you.’’ as a kicker.

Bad move as all hell broke loose after that.

Fact is, despite all the talk about the Knicks’ excellent defense and chemistry and coaching and cohesion and Anthony, so much of their sizzling start has been based on their shooting the ball at a record-setting pace from behind the 3-point line. When Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Steve Novak, Anthony and virtually anyone in a NY uniform are connecting at a 40 percent clip while Tyson Chandler takes care of business on the inside, that’s a recipe for success.

However, the question has always been whether the Knicks could keep up that pace from downtown? In their last three games, the outside temperature has cooled with the Knicks shooting 28-for-86 (32.6) from long range, which has included a pair of losses this week to the Rockets and Bulls.

Is the answer as close as the Erie Bayhawks of NBA D-League, where Amar’e Stoudemire is putting the final touches on his rehab from knee surgery?

On one hand, Woodson says: “We’re going to post Amar’e some when he comes back. We will stick him down there and try to get him the ball, and let him work a little bit and see what happens.”

On the other are reports that the Knicks have tried to peddle the contract of the 30-year-old Stoudemire to every other team in the league unsuccessfully. The dilemma was spelled out wonderfully on Friday by Howard Beck of the New York Times:

In his prime, Stoudemire was the N.B.A.’s most lethal finisher in the pick-and-roll. But that role has been usurped, too, by Chandler, who is taller and longer, with a bigger bounce and healthier knees.

The obvious solution is to have Stoudemire anchor the second unit, running the pick-and-roll with Pablo Prigioni, while Novak, Smith and Rasheed Wallace spread the floor with their 3-point shooting.

But playing as a reserve means fewer minutes and a diminished profile. For all his public diplomacy, it seems doubtful Stoudemire would be content. On Thursday, he told reporters he was ready to “return back to dominance,” which hardly sounds like the words of a player ready to cede the spotlight.

Ask those who have worked with Stoudemire, and they eventually invoke the same word: prideful. Not selfish or egocentric, but simply prideful — a man who views himself in grand terms and spends every minute trying to live up to the image. At age 30, even after multiple knee operations and back problems, Stoudemire still views himself as an elite player.
Reintegrating Stoudemire — whether as a starter or a reserve — might be the greatest challenge the Knicks face this season. (His famously poor defense is also problematic.)

It is a cruel crossroads for Stoudemire, one he never could have foreseen. He surely deserves a better fate.

But considering the way the Knicks opened the season with a bang, stirred the passions in New York and raised the possibility of challenging Miami’s supremacy in the East, they do too. Old times against the Bulls weren’t such fond memories.

 

33 Comments

  1. Hey is that really Rondo-naah!!! lol

  2. rondo says:

    I agree with you Greenallday18leon m. keefe

  3. LMAO- & when us Celts fans complain about refs u other faker fans say our gripes aren’t legit. listen-Celts been getting a ton of poorly reffed games since after “08 finals. Some of it’s from team play mistakes, but if not for poor reffing, Celts should’ve had 2 more rings after “08. “COMON MAN”!! :) Celts “13 Champs

  4. Just be says:

    nice tux….you were at war?

  5. DeeJay says:

    Anyone who watched that atrocious game last night knows that the refs certainly did a great job of pulling all of the Knicks’ cards away from them.
    1. Luol Deng DIDN’T EVEN GET HIT IN THE SHOULDER. Jason Kidd caught the ball and Deng’s forearm. Should have been a foul, yes, but Deng really tried to play it up. MAN UP
    2. Melo gets thrown out for telling refs to call a foul? …well, if the refs were doing their job, Melo would have had maybe one tech, J.R. would have only had four fouls, Woody wouldn’t have gone anywhere, and that almost-fight never would have happened. But, apparently, wrestling moves are perfectly acceptable in the NBA. Damn right, Tyson got mad about it. I would have too. I probably would have punched him in the face and taken the suspension too. Joakim Noah has always been that type of player, dating back to his Florida days. Maybe, if he were actually a good basketball player, he wouldn’t have to do that to get somewhere in the league. I’ve called Noah a cheat since maybe ’04 now? …pretty sure ain’t nothin’ changed.
    3. All these Bulls fanatics that actually think that was a fairly called game should get their eyes checked. Keep in mind that the Knicks outscored the Bulls by 20 following that ridiculous sequence of ref-weighing. WITHOUT MELO, J.R., CHANDLER, AND WOODY.

    GG Bulls. Next time you wanna play an 8-on-5, consult with Miami re: how to make it less obvious.

  6. sick nba again says:

    what’s up with all the fighting on court recently????these players can’t control their temper or what????

  7. JenJen says:

    As both a Knicks and a Bulls fan I could plainly see that the refs were calling an uneven game. I have no idea why they would want to give the Bulls an advantage, especially knowing the abuse a bad call gets at MSG, but for some reason it did happen. The problem is the subjectivity of some of the rules. And also some players are better actors than others.

  8. cookiezz says:

    I won’t say much… Take off that hat Melo, looks hideous

  9. ppatel924 says:

    Reblogged this on Ppatel924’s Blog and commented:
    cry baby melo? like Lebron? dude won a championship last year… not a fan of him but guys like melo and james are so strong and athletic that reality is they aren’t getting calls, In melos situation if every game was called fair hed be at the freethrow line 30-40 times, and noah would be ejected in the first quarter. Noah is good, Chandler is a better anchor, this night was an exception since the officials were letting joakim do what he pleased. Thibbs vs woodson common let the record speak, we didnt get out coached we got outhustled a little bit more importantly we got out-reffed. the calls early in the game dictated how the game would go. For your last pathetic statement Ill agree with, the officials were horrible on both sides, but that was only after they were hearing it from the crowd for messing the game up to begin with. You guys managed to get a 4 point victory playing 5 on 8 with the officials wearing jordan jerseys under those stripes, are you truly proud of this victory. Jan 11 be ready because we will have official officials there not the jokes that were blowing whistles left on right on my blue and orange last night. To all the Bulls fans in this post…GET OVER THE PAST, yeah jordan won mad titles for you guys, yes Isiah Thomas sent the knicks to the worst decade in history. WERE BACK and you better understand that everytime you look at the standings and see our win percentage higher than yours. Cant wait for DRose to be back so you guys realized its not just a matter of plugging him in and yall will realize the work it will take for chicago this year to be dominant, maybe next year this year belongs to BLUE AND ORANGE!

    • Weremole says:

      Blame refs for 90’s, blame refs for last year against Miami, blame refs for 25 point lead maybe refs were resposible for first game in Chicago. Yep refs must hate N.Y

  10. 34yr fan says:

    “like a baby seal” ?? you should be ashamed, Francis……tsk, tsk

  11. JR says:

    Chi-town baby, I’ve always loved this Bulls vs Knicks rivalry since the 90’s B-).

  12. Yep says:

    I can’t believe they throw out Noah with Chandler. Check what happened in slow motion. Chandler hits Noah with an elbow and then after, starts a fight. What wrong did Noah commit there to be deserving of getting ejected? If holding your ground in the paint is something deserving of this then, why not eliminate physical play altogether. This sort of conduct should be eliminated from the NBA, it completely brushes off individual accountability.

  13. Bulls2012 says:

    Coach Thibs out coached Woodson all game.and really showed him who the best coach in the NBA is. After i watched this game i had no idea how big of a cry baby MELO was..He gets touched by a finger and hell complain (LEBRON LIKE) you dont see the Bulls or Drose complain everytime they get touched..NOAH JUST SHOWED TYSON WHO THE BEST CENTER IN THE EAST IS..NOAH SHOULD BE IN THE ALL STAR GAME….

    BTW THOSE REFS WERE HORRIBLE ON BOTH TEAMS..KIDD HACKED DENG SOOOO BAD AND DENG ALMOST GOT HIS SHOULDER DISLOCATED BY IT..NO CALL..

  14. Game Time says:

    WTF is Melo wearing? Looks like he’s about to go sell girl scout cookies.

  15. ppatel924 says:

    Jan 10 please give us some veteran officials, and please fire those knuckleheads from last night, thankyou

  16. DANITo says:

    i doubt it mr bulls not this year, even when derrick rose come back , they cant beat the heat . rose wont be the same this year. and they dont have a good bench like last year. rose have to do everything, and that didnt work 2 years ago, rose had to do everything.

  17. Vinícius Manhães Andrade says:

    Man, as much as I love this team, I would love to believe that the Bulls will win it all this year as soon as D Rose comes back, but unfortunately, I can’t. But I do believe the Bulls could be the front runners for the title on 2013-14, but, even though they are rivals and that last game was hot, I still think that the Knicks deserve a title, I believe the ‘Melo deserves a title, and an MVP for once in his career, he shouldn’t retire without those credentials, his level of maturity raised a lot since the beginning of this season and I believe that his time is now.

    • JR says:

      Spoken like a true fan of the sport my friend. YEah I think if the Bulls don’t make it this year, I think the Knicks should have the title this year over Miami and OKC. Melo deserves to have a ring in his name and I think this is his year. After that, it’s Derrick Rose :D haha, can’t wait to see what’s in store this season!

  18. BullsFanDan says:

    The Bulls still have the best D-Fense in the league. Thanks Thibs. Jo is playing at an elite level. He is by far the best Center in the East. Lu is having another allstar year. All they are missing is the MVP. The Bulls just have to hold the fort down untill he returns. Lets go Bulls! #TheReturn

  19. LewisBulls says:

    What a game. Probably one of the craziest games so far this season (and definitely the craziest one I saw in person). This might spark a rebirth of the old Bulls/Knicks rivalries I grew up watching in the 90s. :D

  20. dj rgm9 says:

    Only in your dreams man!

  21. showbaba7 Canada says:

    chicago won the game by their defensive effort but honestly I am dissapointed in the attitude of the Knicks in the game from coach keep talking to to the referee was annoying. It was a great game but Knicks wanted to make it look as if it was a bad game. All the nonsense happened in 4th qtr. If any team wants to beat the knicks they need to wathch the 1st-3rd qtr of the game and see how chicago did it.

  22. when d-rose comes back man the championship is ours