Knicks Beat Bulls Again, Extend Win Streak To 6

The Knicks got back to their defensive ways Friday night against the Bulls, beating them for the second time in three days 114-91. A few nights ago it was a struggle on the defensive end against the same Bulls team, however the Knicks defense adjusted to limit the Bulls dynamic duo DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine.

A few nights ago, DeRozan scored 16 points just from the free throw line which helped towards a total of 32. Friday night, DeRozan only scored 14 points in total. The Knicks did a far better job of defending him without fouling as he only attempted two free throws the entire game, making both of them.

The Knicks also found far more success against the second star of the Bulls Zach Lavine. On Wednesday night Lavine scored 25 points, but was held to only 17 on Friday which was the team high for the Bulls. Although Lavine was fairly efficient from the field (7-12) the Knicks forced Lavine to have a team high 5 turnovers.

As a team, the Bulls shooting numbers were fairly impressive. They shot 46.8 percent from the field, 40 percent from the three point line, and 87.5 percent from the free throw line. The difference however Wednesday and Friday were turnovers. The Knicks forced 20 turnovers last night and had 24 points off of those turnovers. Jalen Brunson led the defense with 3 steals, and plays like these were common.


Knicks Big 4?

Over the course of this win streak, Julius Randle has had to carry the offensive load. Friday night was a completely different story, as Randle had 19 points which was only the 4th highest on the team. He also struggled a bit to shoot the ball, as he was only 6-16 from the field and 2-8 from three. RJ Barrett, Jalen Brunson, and Quentin Grimes picked him up though and showed that the offense can still play well without Randle having his best game.

Quentin Grimes has been quite the revelation for the Knicks this year mainly with his defense, but he has really excelled as a catch and shoot threat as of late. Grimes shot 6-10 from the field, with 5 of those makes coming from the three point line for a total of 22 points. With Randle, Brunson, and Barrett taking on the bulk of ball handling, this is all the Knicks need from Grimes and he has been exactly what they need on offense.

The signing of Jalen Brunson continues to look better and better every game the Knicks play. Brunson scored 22 points on a solid 7-14 from the field, but he was an astounding 6-9 from the three point line. He also chipped in 6 assists, and has proven to be the point guard the Knicks have been trying to find for years.

RJ Barrett has had a difficult time finding consistency this year. He is shooting only 41% from the field and 31% from the three point line, so hopefully last night's performance can be a building block for the rest of the year. Barrett had one of his best games of the season putting up 27 points on 45 percent shooting from the field, and 3-5 from three. It could have been an even bigger game if he did not struggle from the free throw line, as on 11 attempts he only hit 6.

With the signing of Brunson, Barrett has in a way been relegated to the third option offensively. After getting a 4 year extension in the offseason for $120 million, Barrett became the highest paid player on the Knicks, and the expectation was he would take a huge step forward on offense. So far that has not been the case, but performances like last night show that his leap is still more than possible, and it may just take some time.

The Knicks will look to extend their win streak to 7 Sunday night against the Indiana Pacers.