Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis

Christopher WalderContributor IIOctober 31, 2013

Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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    With 5.7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Derrick Rose would hit a contested floater to give his Chicago Bulls the lead and the victory over the New York Knicks by a final score of 82-81.

    Despite Chicago holding a 13-point lead in the second half, New York was able to slowly chip away at the lead with strong outings by Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton.

    Turnovers were the name of the game for both sides, as the Knicks and Bulls combined to turn the basketball over on 32 occasions, with 18 of those coming from New York.

    Neither team shot particularly well either, as the Knicks only hit 36.0 percent of their attempts, while Chicago wasn't much better at 40.8. 

    There was a clear advantage in the paint for the Bulls, who outscored their opponents 46-24 down low. 

    This is the Bulls' fifth consecutive win in a home opener, which is a franchise record. It's also their sixth-straight victory over the Knicks. 

    The Bulls will now travel to Philadelphia on Saturday night to battle the Philadelphia 76ers, while New York hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. 

    *Grades are based on percentages, quality of performance, contributions on the court and final statistics.

Point Guard

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    Derrick Rose, CHI

    Making his regular season return to the United Center after an 18-month absence, Derrick Rose found it difficult to get the ball to fall through the basket early on. 

    He looked explosive in attacking the hoop, but whether it was the convergence of Knicks defenders surrounding him or an inability to simply let his game come to him naturally, Rose just couldn't make it happen on offense in the first half. 

    But you know what? In the end, none of that matters.

    Rose would hit a floater with 5.7 seconds remaining to give the Chicago Bulls the win. 

    That's all you're going to remember, even with his 7-of-23 shooting night and four turnovers. Those numbers will see better days as the season unfolds. 

    Rome wasn't built in a day, so just take solace in the fact that even in a dire situation, Rose was able to come through and win it for the Bulls. 

    Overall Grade: B+/A-


    Raymond Felton, NY

    After tweaking his hamstring on opening night against the Milwaukee Bucks, the availability of guard Raymond Felton was up in the air.

    The nine-year veteran did start for New York, scoring 13 points and dishing six assists.

    The Knicks weren't getting much contribution from backup guard Pablo Prigioni, so Felton stayed on the court for just over 36 minutes, despite the concerns with his hamstring.

    Overall Grade: B

Shooting Guard

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    Jimmy Butler, CHI

    Throughout the course of the season, you're going to see Jimmy Butler take on an even larger role in the Bulls schemes.

    The team needs more contributions from other members of the backcourt to make the life of Derrick Rose a little bit easier, especially during his comeback year. 

    Butler finished the game with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. He also played 41 minutes, the most of any Bull. 

    Overall Grade: B+


    Iman Shumpert, NY

    The 23-year-old picked up three fouls by the 5:25 mark of the second quarter, but due to a lack of depth at the position with J.R. Smith serving a suspension, Mike Woodson decided to leave him in the game.

    It ended up being a wise decision in the moment, as Iman Shumpert wound up hitting a desperation three-pointer with the shot clock winding down.

    His dunk along the baseline tied the game at 76-76 late in the fourth quarter.

    Other than that, there's not much to like from his performance this Halloween.

    Overall Grade: C

Small Forward

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    Luol Deng, CHI

    Without question, Luol Deng played the best basketball of the night for the Chicago Bulls. 

    Yes, he didn't hit a game-winner like Derrick Rose, but he was certainly the more consistent of the two. 

    From all areas of the court, Deng was making things happen on offense. He finished with 17 points and three rebounds. 

    He showed off his range by hitting from both 15-feet and behind the arc. He also got his teammates in on the action, handing out six assists.

    Overall Grade: A-


    Carmelo Anthony, NY

    You would have thought that Carmelo Anthony was minutes away from leaving the New York Knicks with all of the free agency talk that was brought up by announcers in the opening half and prior to tip-off.

    I guess that's going to be the norm from now on.

    As is usually the case with Anthony, he had both his hot and cold streaks shooting the basketball. He led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-24 from the field, including six rebounds.

    What I really liked was the way he made plays for his team in other areas, especially with his six assists and six steals on defense. It just goes to show that the six-time NBA All-Star is not just a scorer, although that's the aspect of his game in which he excels at the most.

    His jumper at the end of regulation couldn't win it for the Knicks, so there's that.

    You can't win them all, I suppose.

    Overall Grade: A-

Power Forward

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    Carlos Boozer, CHI

    With Andrea Bargnani guarding him, Carlos Boozer looked to attack his poor defender whenever he could, scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

    The idea of trading Boozer at some point in the season is always going to be a topic of discussion. There are upgrades out there on the market, but if nothing comes to fruition, at least the team will still be left with a guy who can give you double-double numbers on any given night.

    Overall Grade: B 


    Andrea Bargnani, NY

    After coming off the bench against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson inserted Andrea Bargnani into the starting lineup with hopes of combating the size of the Chicago Bulls frontcourt.

    It's fitting that this game took place on Halloween, as Bargnani's performance was spooky and rather chilling in the first 24 minutes. He missed his first two shots and picked up three offensive fouls in the first half. Bargnani failed to get back on defense on numerous occasions and looked very much lost on the court for the second game in a row.

    The second half was a different story, as "Il Mago" came out of the locker room ready to compete, hitting his first four shots from the field.

    He would finish the night with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.

    If this game took place in Madison Square Garden, the boo birds would have been out in full force during the game's early stages. However, those boos would have gradually turned into smirks and small applause later on.

    It wasn't always pretty, but that's what you're going to get from the former No. 1 overall pick.

    Overall Grade: C


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    Joakim Noah, CHI

    His performance wasn't flashy, but it was effective. You'd expect nothing less from someone with the work ethic of one, Joakim Noah. 

    He was a force on the boards from tipoff to the final buzzer, grabbing 15 rebounds, with four coming on the offensive end. 

    Noah also looked more comfortable on offense in contrast to his outing against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. He wasn't efficient with his shot, hitting just 2-of-7 from the field, but there was certainly more confidence displayed when the ball was in his hands. 

    However, the big no-no of the night was Noah fouling Tyson Chandler with 10.8 seconds remaining in the game as both giants were battling under the glass. That didn't cost his team the game, but without some late heroics from Derrick Rose, it very well could have. 

    Overall Grade: B


    Tyson Chandler, NY

    How does 19 rebounds sound?

    How does hitting a clutch free throw in the final moments of the game sound?

    Sure, it didn't win it for New York, but for a career 63.9 percent shooter from the charity stripe, you can never be too sure that it's going to drop, especially in tense moments like that.

    His four blocks are to be expected, as his size and length under the basket will always make the opposition work for every one of their shots. 

    Overall Grade: B +

Sixth Man

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    Taj Gibson, CHI

    Energy, toughness and and all-out effort on both ends of the court. That about sums up what Taj Gibson brought to the Chicago Bulls tonight as their sixth man.  

    In just over 20 minutes of action, Gibson would score seven points and grab four rebounds. He even had a nice putback bucket fall in with time expiring in the first quarter. 

    It's good to know that when Joakim Noah comes off the floor, the Bulls won't lose any tenacity in their frontcourt as long as Gibson is available. 

    Overall Grade: B


    Metta World Peace, NY

    At this stage of his career, "The Artist Formally Known as Ron Artest" isn't going to be a focal point in the game plan. His current role as the first or second man off the bench for the Knicks suits him perfectly.

    Metta World Peace can still knock down shots from behind the arc, as evidenced by his two made three-pointers. He also stole the ball twice on the defensive end.

    The 2010 NBA Champion did miss eight shots from the field, but he wasn't a detriment to the team while on the court. He made buckets at opportune times and played solid defense.

    Overall Grade: B-/C+


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    Chicago Bulls

    Kirk Hinrich's big play of the game was getting fouled on a leaner in the paint with 2.6 seconds remaining in the third quarter. 

    His nine points in a little over 14 minutes were appreciated, but we can do without those five turnovers.

    The Chicago Bulls are going to need Mike Dunleavy to become more of a factor on offense, as his ability to stretch the floor with his shooting is immensely valuable. He contributed nothing of value to the Bulls on this occasion, missing both of his attempts from three-point range. 

    Backup center Nazr Mohammed played only two minutes, turning the ball over twice. 

    Overall Grade: D+ 


    New York Knicks

    As J.R. Smith continues to serve his five-game suspension, the Knicks will turn to the likes of rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. for scoring and perimeter defense for the second-unit.

    The first-year player out of the University of Michigan chipped in 10 points. He was rather trigger-happy with the basketball, but it usually takes him some time to get into a rhythm anyway. Hardaway also played valuable minutes during the end of a hotly contested game, which is tremendous experience for any rookie.

    Amare Stoudemire made his season debut for the Knicks, adding five points and three turnovers. Be sure to keep a close eye on his minutes moving forward, as they'll obviously be monitored closely in hopes of keeping his knees fresh.

    Overall Grade: C+