NBA Odds – Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks
Zack GarrisonNo comments
On paper, the Chicago Bulls are the biggest obstacle standing between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Eastern Conference title. The New York Knicks, on the other hand, are an Eastern conference afterthought. The Knicks will ook to prove the pundits wrong this Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Bulls were active in the off-season. They let Carlos Boozer walk but brought in Pau Gasol to replace him. Last season, the big Spaniard had a decent year on a terrible Lakers team (averaging 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game). Prior to last year, Gasol had made the playoffs every year, save one, since 2002-03; he will be looking to help the Bulls back to the second season this year.
Of course, the most exciting addition to the Bulls’ starting lineup isn’t really an addition at all. Unless something happens on the way to the arena tomorrow night – touch wood – Wednesday will mark Derrick Rose’s first NBA game since 2012. The 2010-11 MVP is confident the Bulls can pick up where they left off the last time Rose was healthy.
“I’m not concerned at all, ’’ Rose said after the Bulls finished with a 4-4 exhibition play record. “I’m not concerned with the team. I know how hard we work as a team. Individually, I’m definitely not concerned with that. But as a team, seeing how everybody is focused. As long as everybody is focused on the same page, keep putting in that consistent work, that’s all you can ask for. That’s all you can ask from your team.’’
The Knicks biggest moves since last season were off the court. They added the Zen Master, Phil Jackson, to the front office (technically that occurred during last season), and then brought in Jackson’s former point guard in L.A., Derek Fisher, to be the head coach.
“In terms of whether people see me as Phil’s guy or my own guy, I won’t spend a lot of time on it,” Fisher said. “I have to stay focused on helping these guys figure out how to win games.”
The Knicks’ best personnel decision in the summer was keeping Carmelo Anthony; now, Fisher needs to find ways to make Anthony fit in the triangle offense to avoid missing the playoffs for the second year in a row.
If you’re looking for a betting trend, Chicago is 7-2 SU in its last nine games against New York.