Comeback from -21, head to head final: Knicks-Bulls a show like in the 90s

Chicago passes 119-115 in New York at the end of a battle worthy of the challenges between Jordan and Ewing. The modern heroes are DeRozan, decisive with 18 of his 34 points in the fourth period, and Randle

Like old times. Like when the Madison Square Garden court battles were led by Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing, and New York-Chicago was worth more than a regular season game in early December. This Knicks-Bulls, however, has kept the tradition of the mid-nineties high, giving the 19,812 spectators crammed into the most famous arena in the world a spectacular challenge, a head-to-head solved only at the end by DeMar DeRozan, the leader of the new Bulls. who with 34 points signed the final 119-115. New York recovered from the 21-point abyss it had fallen into in the second quarter to give its fans this spectacular challenge, with Julius Randle trying to take on Ewing’s shoes with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. : they weren’t enough.


The Bulls (15 won-8 lost so far) confirm that they have what it takes to be in the elite of the East. Character, first of all. The one instilled by coach of the month Billy Donovan, the one that DeRozan embodies so well: in the fourth period he put in 18 of his 34 points, finding his way to the basket even when New York had raised a wall in defense and the Bulls attack was struggling . Not DeRozan, one of the last bastions of the average shooting, one who knows how to make a difference even by choosing that solution so invisible to the numbers and statistics. Chicago has its own character, and that of the extraordinary Alex Caruso: he closes with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, but not even the 4 steals say how much difference he made. He is an inexhaustible scooter, probably the best NBA defender seen so far together with Draymond Green: when he is on the field, Chicago trims the Knicks 21 points. Impressive how the team changes: and to think that a few years ago he was about to choose Avellino and Serie A, before opting for a place in the G-League from which he began his climb to glory. Also lethal Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine, both with 27 points and 7 rebounds, the discordant note for the Bulls is the bad match of Lonzo Ball, unable both to manage the team and to be useful as a corner shooter (2/10 from ‘ arc and an impressive string of mistakes in the finale): Chicago will need him too if he really wants to be racing.

new york

The Knicks (11-11) must blame the mistakes of the first half for not being able to win, for the energy wasted to recover. Also in this match New York confirmed that it lacks continuity: if Thibodeau’s team is the one seen in the second half, it is definitely worth a place in the sun in the East; if it’s the distracted and soulless one of the first half, repeating last year’s fourth place is pure illusion. The Knicks did not have RJ Barrett and lost Taj Gibson 4 ‘from the first siren to a double technical for protests: yet they fought clinging to Randle’s talent, to Evan Fournier’s triple (16 points and 4 times to target from outside), to the desire of Alec Burks (16 points) to show that Thibs made the right choice by torpedoing Kemba Walker and entrusting him with the role of starting point guard, to the extraordinary defense of Mitchell Robinson (9 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks), the whose exit from the field in the final was deleterious, to the now ageless talent of Derrick Rose (16 points and 6 assists from the bench). It was not enough to avoid the second knockout in a row, the fifth in the last 8 games. Thibodeau has a team of character, of course, but something has to change because it is no longer enough.

the match

New York disastrous in the first half and Chicago runs away immediately. The Bulls start the recovery ahead 69-51, but the Knicks come back strongly under even if they overtake for the first time with Randle (106-105) only 4’45 ”from the end. From there it’s a splendid head-to-head that arrives at the last minute at 111-111. It is at that point that the hero DeRozan emerges, taking the Bulls by the hand and leading them to success.

New York: Randle 30 (14/21 from two, 2/5 free throws), Fournier 16, Burks 16, Rose 16. Rebounds: Randle 12. Assists: Randle 6, Rose 6.

Chicago: DeRozan 34 (12/19, 10/11 tl), Vucevic 27, LaVine 27. Rimbalzi: Vucevic 7, LaVine 7. Assist: Ball 6, Caruso 6.

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Comeback from -21, head to head final: Knicks-Bulls a show like in the 90s