- New York coach Mike Woodson mocked reporters before the game when they asked about Carmelo Anthony’s availability. Anthony banged his shooting hand twice against Golden State, but Woodson said Anthony was ready to play against the Bulls. “You know something I don’t know? He got it hit a couple of times but he is ready to go.”
- The Knicks are also getting Iman Shumpert back after an extended absence with a sprained left knee, and Woodson said Shumpert would return to the starting lineup this afternoon. “We are going to see how he is early and go from there,’’ he said. Shumpert averages 6.9 points per game with 4.5 rebounds.
- Former Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette joined the Bulls on Sunday, getting into town Sunday morning in time to get to the United Center for the game against the New York Knicks. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Fredette could play “if there is a need, like if we have an injury or foul trouble.” Thibodeau said he would not “pre-judge’’ Fredette’s ability to play defense, and is looking forward to his offensive contributions. “He has a skill. We need shooting. The challenge is to get him up to speed as quickly as we can.” In 41 games with the Kings this season, Fredette averaged 5.9 points and shot 49.3 percent from 3-point range.
- There is no official push yet, but the Bulls expect power forward Taj Gibson to get some notice for Sixth Man of the Year. Coming off the bench Friday in a win over Dallas, Gibson led the team with 20 points and 15 rebounds, only the third player in the last 35 years to have at least 20 and 15 off the bench for the Bulls (Donyell Marshall and Marcus Fizer were the others). Over his last 10 games, Gibson has averaged 18.4 points and 8.7 rebounds. For the season, he is averaging 13.3 points and 6.8 rebounds. He has also stated eight games for the team this season.
- The Bulls have won eight of their last nine games. The Knicks have lost five straight. The Bulls and Toronto Raptors are tied for the third playoff position in the Eastern Conference at 32-26.
– Kent McDill