The New York Knicks put up more of a fight than they had in their previous five losses, but their Monday night game at the United Center against the Chicago Bulls, the NBA's best team at now 35-9, still ended with another notch in the loss column, 104-99, as Jeremy Lin couldn't stay in front of Derrick Rose. Carmelo Anthony was again largely invisible in the fourth quarter — and really all game long, scoring 21 points on 8-21 shooting.
The real story of the game, and the reason the Knicks didn't win by double digits, was the Bulls' offensive rebounding. The Knicks, most remarkably Amare Stoudemire, felt no desire to box out and attempt to grab defensive rebounding, and it showed. The Bulls grabbed an astonishing 22 offensive rebounds, eight by Taj Gibson alone, and he was really the one abusing Stoudemire, who had just three total rebounds.
Derrick Rose shot just 5-15 in the first half, but was absolutely phenomenal in the second half on both ends of the court, raising his game and the energy of his teammates and the crowd. He finished with 32 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and one terrifyingly powerful dunk:
Joakim Noah had a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds to go with five assists, and Gibson had 13 total rebounds and scored 15 points. Amare Stoudemire was great on the offensive end, hitting his open jump shots with great consistency and finishing with 20 points, but he could have scored 40 and it wouldn't compensate for the extreme lack of effort he put forth on the glass.
In Lin's first matchup with Rose, he didn't play poorly but was really a non-factor down the stretch when the Knicks desperately needed points, and Rose scored at will. He finished with 15 points, eight assists, three steals and three blocks, including this ridiculous swat on Rose.