Basketball by Buzz
Written by Buzz Breeden

Tis the season for third-tier college football bowl games, The Christmas Story running on a twenty-four hour look, trying to learn from the mistakes Clark W. Griswold made in hosting their family for Christmas, and NBA hoops on Christmas day. Though the latter may not be as entertaining as the previous two (I am admitting to possibly being the biggest The Christmas Story an ever…judge me lightly.) There is a great NBA game Saturday that you need to watch and it’s not Miami at Los Angeles.

Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks- 12:00 tip off

Last week the media was making a big deal about the “rivalry” renewed between the two cities in basketball. Really? What does it mean these days to be a rivalry? Back on the game at hand, the Knicks have been the “rise from the ashes” possible playoff team this year. Saturday’s game will be a great barometer for the Knicks against the Bulls than last week’s Celts game. The Celts are clearly the water mark not just for the east, but possible the NBA. The Bulls are at best the three seed or at worst six. They are a middle of the road playoff team with tremendous upside when all parts are healthy. It is hard to judge a team by one game, but it is on Christmas and nationally televised. This game will have a playoff feel to it. How will the Knicks respond to the challenge?

The Knicks are only 16-12, but from where this franchise has been the last decade this is a huge improvement. Most of the success has to go to Amare Stoudemire, who is averaging 26 pts and 9 boards per game. Amare is shooting 52-percent from the field. Add the emergence of Raymond Felton, 18 pts and 9 asst, and you have one of the best hi/lo games in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are second in scoring offense.

The preseason rave was that the Bulls were the “dark horse” for the east. Derrick Rose has carried this team early on with injuries to Boozer and Noah. Rose is averaging 24 and 9; shooting 46-percent for a guard is amazing. Boozer is contributing good minutes since returning from injury averaging 18/8. The Bulls might be the deepest team in the league. Eleven players are averaging double-digit minutes.

This game will feature two of the best HI/LO offenses in the league. The game will come down to whether Boozer can handle Amare, or Felton can limit D. Rose. Bottom line we have a great game on Christmas that does circle around off the court drama (think Kobe vs. Shaq 2005 and 2006 games.)

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