The Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks showdown Wednesday night lost a lot of hype this season due to both teams' struggles, but this game still had some interesting storylines.
Folks on Twitter captured a few important storylines including Mike Woodson's job security, Jeff Van Gundy being pulled from announcing the game, and Carmelo Anthony's big night after the Knicks almost blew a 23-point lead.
Before the game many people, including ESPN producer Brian Koppelman, thought the Woodson firing would be a good idea.
How do you not fire mike woodson and bench the entire team and start over? Worst team in basketball.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) December 8, 2013
ESPN also made a move that makes Woodson's seat seem even hotter. The network asked analyst Jeff Van Gundy to not call the game Wednesday night due to rumors he could be a possible replacement for Woodson. USA Today Sports sent out a tweet with an article attached explaining the decision.
Here's why Jeff Van Gundy won't call tonight's Bulls-Knicks game: http://t.co/XW5p2Svgf7— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) December 12, 2013
The Knicks led by 12 at the half and seemed to be in control in the third quarter. They were up by as much as 23, before letting the Bulls back into the game. Yahoo! Sports captured what the Knicks near meltdown would mean for Woodson if the Knicks had lost the game.
The Knicks were up 23 to the Bulls. The game is now tied with 3 mins left. The Mike Woodson hot seat is on fire: http://t.co/Z9sdSzf3bg— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) December 12, 2013
Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire helped the Knicks secure the victory with big nights. NBA columnist Michael Scotto shared a stat about the duo's performance Wednesday night.
Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire combined for 44 points (16-32 FG, 11-12 FT) and 19 rebounds in tonight's win over the Bulls. #Knicks— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) December 12, 2013
Ian Begley of ESPN New York reported that Anthony thinks his teammates are looking for him to do too much.
Carmelo Anthony says sometimes his teammates are "just looking for me to make something happen. We’ve got to get away from that." #Knicks— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 12, 2013
Despite the loss, the Bulls received a big night from Mike Dunleavy Jr. who scored 20 points in the game.
SportsCenter's Twitter account shared that the Knicks snapped a six-game losing streak to the Bulls Wednesday night.
Knicks snap 6-gm losing streak vs. Bulls. Carmelo Anthony drops 30 Pts: only NBA player to lead team in scoring in every game this season.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 12, 2013
The New York Knicks Twitter account reported Woodson's thoughts on how big the win was.
"We so desperately needed a win tonight" #Knicks head coach Mike Woodson— NBA New York Knicks (@nyknicks) December 12, 2013
Moving forward, the Knicks season is not entirely lost. NBA Rumors shared the stat about the Knicks' chances in the East.
The 6-15 Knicks are only 2.5 games back from the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.— NBA Rumors (@NBARUMORS) December 12, 2013
The game Wednesday night showed the Knicks still have a little fight left in them. Stoudemire's 14 points and nine rebounds should be encouraging for Knicks fans. The Eastern Conference is also fairly weak this season. Besides the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, no other team has a winning record.
New York still has to find more options scoring, though. Only two players scored in double digits: Stoudemire and Anthony. Anthony is a great scorer, but I question his ability to lead the team solely with his scoring. The Knicks need more consistency from other players.
If New York can find more options on offense, the Knicks have a very realistic chance of making the playoffs.
The same goes for Chicago. Even without Derrick Rose, the Bulls have a great shot at making the playoffs. Contrary to the Knicks, Chicago has many scoring options. Five different players scored 10 or more points for the Bulls Wednesday night. Dunleavy had a great night scoring and moving forward, the Bulls will need him to continue doing his part as a role player.
Wednesday night's game may have bought Woodson more time coaching. His seat was on fire before the game, but this win should keep him around as long as the Knicks keep winning.
As for the Van Gundy rumors, this should be a very interesting storyline to watch in the next couple of weeks. If Woodson were to get fired, the Knicks should give Van Gundy a good look because he used to coach the Knicks and is familiar with the organization.