We're 35 games into the season, and the Bucks are above .500 away from the BC and have a better road record than home record. If you predicted that, please raise your hand and a nearby representative will bring your winnings to you shortly.
The Bucks improved their road record to 11-10 Sunday night after handling a bad and depleted Knicks with relative ease, cruising comfortably to a 95-82 win at Madison Square Garden. It wasn't a terribly impressive performance, but seeing Milwaukee take care of business against a beatable opponent -- especially after coming up short in a similar situation at home -- is encouraging.
Brandon Knight led the way with 17p/5a, while Zaza Pachulia and Giannis Antetkounmpo added double-doubles, 16p/14r and 16p/12r respectively. Kendall Marshall (15p, nine in the 4th) and Johnny O'Bryant (10p) were the other Bucks in double figures. Though the team "only" managed to shoot 45 percent from the floor, every Bucks player that saw action tonight scored.
Missing the majority of their starting lineup, the Knicks offense didn't figure to look too good against an active Bucks defense, though they matched Milwaukee's energy for the two to three quarters. New York had fewer turnovers than Milwaukee (16-18), but shot just 40 percent from the field while gathering just seven offensive rebounds. Outside of Tim Hardaway Jr. (17p/ 3-5 three-point shooting) and J.R. Smith (15p/ 3-7 three-point shooting), no other Knick was really able to pose much of a threat. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise, considering Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert,
Andrea Bargnani and Amare Stoudemire were all out.
-- Though they were in foul trouble, Pachulia and Giannis posted double-doubles in 30 minutes of action. It's great to see such production out of the limited frontcourt, but I can't help but laugh when I consider how different their two playing styles are. But hey, I will not complain about the numbers. Ever.
-- In addition to tying a season-high with 12 rebounds, Giannis also hit another three, this one of the catch-and-shoot variety. These can only give him more confidence, which is never a bad thing.
-- Kendall Marshall is an interesting player to watch. He's generally slow and somewhat methodical, but then he makes a play like the one in the video below and it gets you to take notice.
In addition to the crafty passes, Marshall plays to his strengths. Tonight he used his size in the post against smaller Knicks guards with decent success. He's not the perfect backup, but he's done well since being picked up this summer. Thanks, Lakers!
-- For as out of place as he oftentimes looks against opposing power forwards, Johnny O'Bryant has progressed well. He's still very much a work in progress -- he's still overly reliant on midrange jumpshots and his defensive rebound rate is worse than every Buck but Kendall Marshall right now -- but he's shown glimpses of why the Bucks were interested in him in the second round. He hasn't been shy about being physical and made some nice moves in a career-high 22 minutes of action.
-- Only one Bucks player did not collect two or more rebounds tonight. That player was John Henson, who had four points in 11 foul-filled minutes. THIS TEAM IS SO WEIRD.
-- I don't know how to properly end this section of the recap, so HERE IS VIN BAKER, WHO WAS IN ATTENDANCE TONIGHT.
That's...THAT'S VIN BAKER pic.twitter.com/FrP17lDtvG— Eric Buenning (@ericbuenning) January 5, 2015
The Bucks will face the Knicks on January 15th in London, but will face the Suns on Tuesday, Sixers on Wednesday (in Philly), and the Bulls (in Chicago) before then. Milwaukee will look to snap a three-game losing streak at home when Phoenix comes to town. The Suns pounded the Toronto Raptors and will be healthier this time around.