PREVIEW: Derrick Rose is expected to return to the lineup for the first time in nearly a month when the Chicago Bulls visit the New York Knicks on Sunday in the front end of a home-and-home matchup. The reigning league MVP has been sidelined for 12 games with a groin injury and last played in Chicago’s 104-99 win over the Knicks on March 12. New York leads Milwaukee by only a half-game for the final playoff spot in the East.
Bulls Knicks Betting
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 8, 2012
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
TV: 1 p.m. ET, ABC
Chicago Bulls (43-13): Rose went through a full practice Saturday and pronounced himself “more than likely” to play Sunday, although coach Tom Thibodeau termed him a game-time decision. “My spirits are up. I felt good out there,” Rose said. The Bulls got a season-high 26 points from Luol Deng in snapping a two-game losing streak with a 95-86 win over Boston on Thursday. It was the fourth 20-point outing in five games for Deng, who was hurt the last time the teams met.
New York Knicks (28-27): New York took advantage of the sideshow in Orlando to whack the Magic 96-80 on Thursday. Carmelo Anthonyscored 19 points to lead six players in double figures for the Knicks, who buried 13 of 25 3-pointers. In the six games since losing forward Amar’e Stoudemire to a back injury and point guard Jeremy Lin to knee surgery, Anthony has picked up the scoring slack by averaging 27.7 points. He’s also averaging 8.0 rebounds during that stretch.
1. Winners of three of the last four at Madison Square Garden, the Bulls are a league-best 21-7 away from home.
2. Knicks forward Steve Novak leads the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage (47.9).
3. Rose scored 32 points in each of Chicago’s wins over New York this season.
PREDICTION: Bulls 98, Knicks 94. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$