New York Knicks: Chicago Bulls Game Could Be The Turning Point

The New York Knicks may be reaching a turning point in just the fifth game of the 2016-17 NBA regular season. It’s all about Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

The New York Knicks swung for the fences during the summer of 2016. The Knicks began the process by trading Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant, and Robin Lopez for 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose, and later signed 2014 Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah to a four-year deal.

On Friday, November 4, Noah and Rose will finally begin their official tenure with the Knicks.

That seems silly to say when one considers the fact that Noah and Rose have been active for all four of the Knicks’ regular season games thus far. True as that may be, it’s on Friday, November 4 that the new era will commence.

In the Knicks’ fifth game of the 2016-17 NBA regular season, Noah and Rose will lead New York into Chicago to take on their former team: the Bulls.

This game has been hanging over Noah and Rose’s heads since the days they made their respective arrivals to New York. They didn’t leave Chicago by choice, but instead were cast aside by the front office.

Rose was traded and Noah was publicly singled out as a player whom the Bulls were moving on from—primarily because they didn’t believe he can be a frontline guy.

Beyond the animosity that may exist between the players and the front office is the reality that Noah and Rose love the city of Chicago. Rose was born and raised in Chicago, and Noah was active in the community and fought against gun violence in the inner cities.

To play in Chicago as the road team will be an experience unlike any Noah and Rose have endured before.

A number of fans will cheer Noah and Rose, and a population in the attending crowd will likely boo them. Whether the response is positive or negative, the reality of this situation is that Noah and Rose are playing for a new team for the first time in nearly a decade.

It won’t be until they play their former team in the city they once called home that the move to New York will be official.

This game is one that Noah and Rose essentially need to get out of the way. They’ve both had some strong performances early in 2016-17, but the Knicks have yet to develop a team identity.

Rose acknowledged as much, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

“You got to build that (defensive identity),” Derrick Rose said. “I’ve played on teams where before Thibs got there to Chicago, we didn’t have an identity. And he came and he changed the culture there, and he changed the identity. And we could do that here. We have to and we’re going to. But like I said, it takes time.”

Rallying around Noah and Rose to show them that they have the support of their new teammates could be the experience that helps turn New York into an actual team.

New York needs something to light a fire beneath its proverbial behinds. It defeated the Memphis Grizzlies in the regular season home opener, but has lost three games by double-digits en route to its 1-3 record.

At the very least, completing the Bulls game will alleviate a burden from the shoulders of two of the Knicks’ most valuable players.

Win or lose, this game could be the first turning point of the 2016-17 NBA regular season.

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