Bulls destroy Knicks, Taj Gibson leads the way

Derrick Rose made his return with a bunch of new teammates while the New York Knicks were trying to execute in the triangle offense. It was a slow start for both teams.

The Bulls were sloppy with the ball in the first quarter committing six turnovers. Pau Gasol was solid scoring eight points in the quarter. Derrick Rose was attacking and getting to the free throw line. His shot was a little flat and he committed a few turnovers.

The Knicks were moving the ball well at the start. They were able to get some easy layups with the ball movement.  Amar’e Stoudemire came out and scored a quick eight points. Their defense was strong at the start but the Bulls started to pick up their intensity. The Bulls went on an 8-0 run to close the quarter and take a 24-20 lead.

The second quarter was dominated by the Bulls bench. They outscored the starters in the first half 30-23. They were led by Taj Gibson who got it done on both ends scoring 13 points and grabbing five rebounds.

The Knicks struggled to hit shots and settled for a lot of long jumpers. Their ball movement stopped as the Bulls started to go on a run. At times the ball stuck to Carmelo and he went to isolation basketball. He was only 3-7 in the half. The Knicks were only 1-7 from beyond the arc.

Derrick Rose was only 1-5 but he got to the line eight times. Gasol finished the half with a jumper to beat the buzzer and had 10 points. After six turnovers in the first quarter the Bulls did not commit a turnover in the second. They went into halftime with a 10 point lead, 53-43.

The Knicks defense continued to look bad in the third quarter. Rose was able to get anywhere he wanted on the floor and find open teammates. Gasol had a good quarter, scoring nine points in the quarter. Rose knocked down his only two shots and Gibson added another five points.

The ball stopped moving for the Knicks. There was a lot of one on one play and the Bulls defense suffocated them. Their field goal percentage continued to drop as the Bulls extended their lead. The Knicks were outscored 31-17 and went into the fourth quarter down 84-60.

The game was well in hand as both teams let their bench play. The Bulls defense was amazing as usual holding the Knicks to 36% shooting, but their offense played well. Gasol was great in his debut finishing with 21 and 11. Rose had 13 and 5 assists and only played 21 minutes. Rookie Doug McDermott added 12 points, while Aaron Brooks added 13. Gibson led all scorers with 22 points on 10-12 shooting. The Bulls won going away 104-80.

Carmelo Anthony played 29 minutes, finishing with 14 points on 5-13 shooting. Stoudemire was the only other player in double figures. Tim Hardaway Jr struggled from the field going 2-10 and J.R. Smith was 2-8. They were 3-17 from three point land.

The energy was flat after the 1st quarter for the Knicks. They struggled to score 80 points in a game and could not stop the Bulls who are not known for their offense.  The Bulls had great balance and their bench made a lot of plays.