New York Knicks vs Chicago Bulls 10/28/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Matchup Preview (10/28/21)

Two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference face off on Thursday, October 28, for the first time this season. The Knicks (3-1) will take on the Bulls (4-0) at the United Center to try and hand Chicago its first loss in the 2021-22 season. Both teams are towards the top of the conference standings and look as good as any other team in the NBA right now. With the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets looking much less terrifying than they were last season, the Eastern Conference is wide open momentarily.

The key for the Knicks is to protect the three-point line. The Bulls have been shooting it extremely well from behind the arc through their first few games, and New York was known for its perimeter defense last season. In addition, the Knicks need to hit shots; they are 16th in FG% (field goal percentage) right now, and to beat teams like Chicago, they will need to shoot it a bit better.

For the Bulls to win, they have to stay hot from three and keep playing antagonizing defense. Surprisingly, they are one of the better defensive teams to start the year and will need this to continue to hold off Julius Randle and company. Another key component will be to rebound better: they are last in the NBA in total rebounds per game as a team.

New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Betting Odds

The Bulls entered the game as slight home favorites (-2) against a tough New York Knicks (+2) squad. The Moneyline is at +110 for the Knicks and -130 for the Bulls. The point total is currently at a modest 215 points.

In my opinion, this game is a pick‘em. Usually, when I feel like a game is a toss-up, I will go with the Moneyline of the underdog, which is roughly +110 for the Knicks. I don’t believe that Chicago’s three-point shooting is sustainable in the long term. Additionally, New York was first in opponent three-point percentage last season, so I expect that the Knicks will improve quickly in that area. The Bulls are last in the NBA in total rebounds per game as well, and New York excels there, which could potentially lead to several second-chance points.

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TV Schedule

Date: 10/28/21
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Arena: United Center – Chicago, IL
Channel: NBA TV

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New York Knicks Starting Lineup

PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Evan Fournier
SF: R.J. Barrett
PF: Julius Randle
C: Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks Analysis

I know it is early, but I love this Knicks team. They almost have all of the pieces to be a championship-contending team. If they could add one or two more three-point specialists (preferably 3-and-D guys) before the trade deadline, then they would be terrifying to see in the playoffs. For now, New York is still having success offensively; it is third in points per game, fifth in offensive efficiency, and fourth in eFG% (effective field goal %). Interestingly enough, the Knicks have been statistically better on the offensive end than the defensive end. They rank tenth in defensive efficiency, eighth in opponent eFG%, 14th in opponent 3P%, and 17th in opponent points per game. The significant amount of points allowed by the Knicks’ defense can be largely attributed to their double-overtime season-opener against the Boston Celtics. Without that, they likely are in the top ten in that category as well. Julius Randle has turned into a full-blown superstar, and the trajectory of this team is definitely upwards. They haven’t even come close to playing at their full potential yet.

Chicago Bulls Starting Lineup

PG: Lonzo Ball
SG: Zach LaVine
SF: DeMar DeRozan
PF: Patrick Williams
C: Nikola Vucevic

Chicago Bulls Analysis

While it is early in the 2021-22 NBA season, Chicago looks like a playoff team. It is too early to get overly excited about the Bulls, but if they continue improving, then the sky is the limit. They have a superstar in Zach LaVine, who is putting up great numbers on incredible efficiency. His averages of 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists on 50/44.4/95.2 shooting splits are ridiculous; however, it isn’t much different than what we saw from LaVine last season! To complement LaVine, Chicago was able to add several terrific players in the last year, including Nikola Vucevic, Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball, and DeMar DeRozan. The Bulls also made a huge acquisition in the 2020 NBA Draft by drafting Patrick Williams. When you consider all of these moves, you can draw only one conclusion: the Bulls are contenders in the Eastern Conference. Offensively, they are shooting the three incredibly well, ranking first in the NBA through their first few games; however, they need to be a bit more efficient overall. Their eFG% (effective field goal percentage) ranks 14th, and their offensive efficiency ranks 13th in the NBA.

New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls Daily Fantasy Picks

Zach LaVine is already having an incredible follow-up to the 2020-21 season. He averages 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists on 50/44.4/95.2 shooting splits through the Bulls’ first few games. So far, LaVine is putting up very similar stats to last season, despite having several more scoring threats on the team. LaVine does not offer as many rebounds or assists as some other superstars, but he can be an explosive scorer, which always gives him value. LaVine has hit another level in his career: he can be the best player on a great team.

Julius Randle has improved even more than he already did last season when he won the Most Improved Player award in the NBA. Randle’s playmaking and scoring look more natural and quite frankly impressive. Randle averages 25.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.8 blocks, and one steal per game. He has not been as efficient as he could be, but that tells me that Randle hasn’t hit his pinnacle yet. Additionally, Randle has more scorers around him this year, so he should have an easier time racking up assists and getting spacing from his team so he can get to his spots on the floor that he is most comfortable with.

Andrew has watched sports since as young as he can remember and was fortunate enough to play college basketball. As a kid, he would sneak his Space Jam Michael Jordan jersey into his pre-school so he could wear it every day. Mom was not a happy camper when she found out.

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