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updated: 4/10/2012 10:21 PM

Thibodeau discusses ways Bulls can handle Knicks

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Should the Bulls and Knicks meet in the playoffs, power forward Amare Stoudemire will probably be ready to play after sitting out the past two weeks with a back injury.

For now, coach Tom Thibodeau doesn't fear New York's small lineup, even though Carmelo Anthony torched the Bulls defense for 43 points while playing mostly power forward Sunday.

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"Carmelo at the four, that's something they've done before, so you have to prepare for that," Thibodeau said. "Unfortunately for us, we didn't close out (Sunday's) game the way we would have liked."

If the Knicks are using a small front line, shouldn't the Bulls expect to get more scoring from Carlos Boozer? He hit 6 of 11 shots for 13 points and 16 rebounds in New York.

"You have to take what the defense gives you," Thibodeau said. "They were playing Carmelo on Carlos, but they were also dropping (center Tyson) Chandler back. They were front and back on Carlos. So then you've got to make the right reads. You've got to keep the ball moving and you've got to keep your bodies moving.

"The thing that we have is some versatility with Taj (Gibson) and Joakim (Noah), where we don't have to go small. We can stay big."

The Bulls outrebounded New York 59-47 on Sunday, but Thibodeau was still disappointed about the ending. Anthony's game-winning 3-pointer in overtime was the Knicks' fourth shot of that possession.

Defensive switch:

The last time the Knicks visited the United Center on March 12, Luol Deng sat out and rookie Jimmy Butler played 29 minutes.

New York's Carmelo Anthony hit 8 of 21 shots for 21 points that night. Butler saw some action in the first half of Tuesday's contest, but didn't guard Anthony on Sunday, when the Knicks' star scored 43 points.

"You can't play everybody," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "So every time you add somebody to the mix, you've got to take somebody out of the mix."

Bull horns:

Derrick Rose had nothing to say Tuesday about reports his girlfriend is expecting a child. "That's my personal life," he said. "I think I need a little bit of privacy to myself. I'm sorry about that." ... Tickets for the first two rounds of the playoffs go on sale Friday at 11 a.m. ... Since Mike Woodson took over as head coach from Mike D'Antoni, the Knicks had gone 11-3 heading into Tuesday's contest, while giving up 88.6 points per game. That's a slight improvement from earlier this season and a huge jump from last year, when they gave up 105.7 points.

"Maybe I scare them into playing defense even more," Woodson joked before the game. "This team had improved tremendously, I thought. Even at the beginning of the season, our defensive numbers weren't bad at all.

"Since I've taken over, I think there's been a sense of urgency on everybody's part. We'd lost six in a row, fallen out of the playoff run. That sense of urgency kicked in, which was needed, desperately, because expectations were high and they are high today as far as getting in the playoffs and seeing if we can make some noise."

Bull horns:

Derrick Rose had nothing to say Tuesday about reports his girlfriend is expecting a child. "That's my personal life," he said. "I think I need a little bit of privacy to myself. I'm sorry about that." ... Tickets for the first two rounds of the playoffs go on sale Friday at 11 a.m.

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