You might recall in the season’s early stages, when Milwaukee dispatched the New York Knicks with a 124-113 victory. We didn’t yet know this Bucks team might become the Goliath they were through much of the season’s start, but now that we’re here, one expects them to slay David’s squad by even more.
That Bulls game was weird. From the down to the wire finish to Eric Bledsoe barely shooting, there was a strange vibe the whole night. Thankfully, they eked out a victory and avoided causing any sort of regional meltdown in Cream City. The 116-113 win came with Giannis decimating the Bulls in the paint, as he has been wont to do all season. The Knicks allow the 27th highest percentage of opponent’s shots at the rim (38.8%). I’m not expecting that to be a winning combination for the Big Apple’s team.
Player to Watch: Malcolm Brogdon
Brogdon’s become an increasing debate-sparkplug among the regulars on this team, but he took anyone bad-mouthing him and stuffed a pound of crow in their mouth against the Bulls, hitting 6-6 from deep for 24 points, 6 assists and five rebounds. The Knicks have little talent in their backcourt, but Frank Ntilikina is a dogged defender. I imagine he’ll get the unenviable task of keeping up with Bledsoe’s speed though, and if that’s the case, Brogdon should be able to take advantage of a poor Knicks defense.
Before they dropped two to Detroit and Philadelphia, New York had rattled off three straight solid wins against Boston, Memphis and New Orleans. Fizdale’s crew reads like the ultimate cast-off brigade, from Kanter to Hardaway Jr., Mario Hezonja and all the way to Trey Burke. He’s cobbling something together here while Kristaps Porzingis continues to work his way back from the ACL injury he suffered last season. New York does do plenty of work in the midrange (that’s your music Trey Burke!), hoisting the fifth highest percentage of shots in the league from that area. That’s also music to Milwaukee’s ears, who shouldn’t feel pressured to help off shooters elsewhere, as the Knicks are relatively bereft of scary perimeter guys.
Player to Watch: Enes Kanter
Kanter has long been a thorn in every team’s rebounding side, and it’s no exception against Milwaukee. The Bucks have catapulted themselves to the top of the league in terms of defensive rebounding after years towards the league’s bottom. Today, Kanter will offer a fine test of that ranking with his relentlessness on the offensive boards.
Game 22: Against the Knicks, the Bucks will...
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