Effort, heart, hustle and energy are qualities that teams need in order to be successful in professional sports. The Chicago Bulls have all those attributes, and they were on full display against the lowly New York Knicks. The Bulls jumped out very quickly on the Knicks in the first quarter and never looked back, as the Bulls beat down the Knicks at the United Center, 109-90.
This game was over midway through the first quarter. The Bulls jumped all over the Knicks 16-1 to start the first quarter, and outscored them 37-16. The Knicks kept fighting back, because the Bulls will go through lapses and let teams stay in games. Once the lead shrunk, the Bulls would clamp down on defense and push it back out of reach. The game was never in danger for the Bulls.
This is the difference between how two organizations are being ran. The Bulls are staying afloat and feasting in the Eastern Conference playoffs race, while the Knicks’ effort is completely gone because of the continued losing. Frustration is kicking in and the Knicks are quickly moving on a downward slope. The Bulls will continue to get better and stay right in the middle of the East.
Joakim Noah is the leader of this Bulls squad and his skill set was on full display. Noah had his fifth career triple-double with a strong 13 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists. The Bulls are staying hot because of these types of games from Noah, which are becoming the norm.
Noah’s efforts are trickling down to the whole team. Jimmy Butler played one of his best games of the season, adding 19 points and six rebounds. D.J. Augustin has another solid performance off the bench, contributing 21 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. The Bulls set the tone and the rout was on.
The Bulls got whatever they wanted against the Knicks, and this game shows how much better the Bulls are against the bottom feeders of the East. They must continue to play this inspired ball the rest of the season, and will put major players come playoff time.