Thursday is a big night for the New York Knicks as they try to extend their 13-game winning streak but face an opponent that they have had major problems with in the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks have lost all three meetings this season between the two teams, and while New York has clinched a playoff spot, this is a very important game. The Knicks don’t want any part of seeing Chicago in the first round of the playoffs, but if they were to face each other, a win in Chicago on Thursday would go a long way towards winning that series.
The Knicks are going to be without Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin for this game which is also troublesome because a healthy Chicago team can dominate the boards. I would think that you want your best players out there even if this is just a late-season game, but these two are just too injured to go. Chandler missed Tuesday’s win and missed games last month because of a bulging disk in his neck. Martin suffered a sprained ankle on Tuesday after missing two games with a sore knee.
I don’t think the Knicks will continue their streak in Chicago. The Bulls have proven that they are giant killers at home in ending long winning streaks. It is more important that Chandler and Martin are both ready to go when the playoffs begin. New York could be the lone team in the Eastern Conference that can challenge the Miami Heat, but the only way that happens is if they avoid Chicago in the playoffs. The Knicks really need this win, even if it is unlikely.