The Bulls (14-10) slogged through the first month of the season with a 7-7 record, but since the beginning of December, Chicago has caught fire. The team has moved to the top of the of the Central Division with a 7-3 record this month, and it has already claimed an eight-point victory over the Knicks at the United Center.
Without star point guard Derrick Rose, the Bulls have struggled to score, ranking 27th in the NBA with just 92.8 points per game. However, Chicago is winning with defense, ranking second by allowing 90.3 points per contest. Opponents are shooting a meager 42.4 percent against the Bulls, and Joakim Noah's 10.6 rebounds per game ranks sixth in the league.
While the Bulls have been hot this month, the Knicks (19-6) have been even hotter. New York, the No. 1 team in the East, has an 8-2 record in December and has scored 100 or more points in each of its victories. The Knicks rank fifth in the NBA with 102.8 points per game and they're knocking down 40.4 percent of their shots from behind the three-point arc. To say Friday's game is a clash of styles would be an understatement.
Tipoff between the Bulls and Knicks is set for 6:30 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on CSN-Chicago and NBATV.