The New York Knicks were the foil. And, to echo the words of Walt “Clyde” Frazier, the long-time TV analyst of the team, they did a lot of “bumbling and stumbling.” It wasn’t so much that the Bulls were so great. They played a Knicks team who reached a franchise low in futility with their 60th loss of the season.
Plenty of Bulls saw playing time. Little used Cameron Bairstow, the backup center, saw some action in the late stages of the 4th quarter.
The Knicks looked out-classed from the get-go. They cut their deficit to 7 points in the 2nd period and the Bulls went on a 19-7 run to salt away the game.
Chicago shot 51% from the floor as contrasted to the Knicks which only connected on 38% of its attempts. The Bulls out-rebounded the Knicks 51-35. Chicago outscored New York 50-22 in the paint.
Still, the Knicks know this season is about growing pains. “The biggest mindset is not to give up,” Cole Aldrich said.
The Bulls are solidifying their third position in the East and trail the Cavs by just two games.
“We have more than enough right now”, Mike Dunleavy, starting forward noted for the Bulls. “When Derrick (Rose) gets back it’s a bonus. We’re pulling for him.”
Six Bulls scored in double figures. Mirotic had 24 points in a scorching month of March. He has averaged 20.8 points and has become a home court fan favorite. Jimmy Butler had 18 points, 5 steals, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Taj Gibson notched 14 points and 9 boards. Gasol with 19 points and 12 rebounds had his 48th league leading double/double.
Rose was near the huddle dressed in street clothes. If he can get on the court, score points, and become the floor general, then the Bulls might really have something.