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Milwaukee vs. New York: And To All (Knicks), a Good Night

The Bucks bested the Knickerbockers at Madison Square Garden to kick off the NBA’s Christmas Day festivities.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

‘Twas the very day of Christmas, and all through the Garden,

not a Knicks fan was celebrating. Not hooting, not hollering.

The stands were all cleared, and cleaned up with great care,

in the hopes that tomorrow, Giannis would no longer be there.

I could go on like this, but neither of us wants that. Much like the New York Knicks falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in unceremonious fashion, it’s better to just move on...even though these two teams will be facing off again imminently.

Three Timely Holiday References

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!

Wear protective eyewear if you’re ever in the building when the Bucks are playing. The team’s recent three-point shooting woes continued, as Milwaukee went only 6/32 on the day, including a stretch of seventeen consecutive misses from deep. The Knicks did not fare much better (8/28), which allowed Milwaukee to shift towards bludgeoning the basket on drives and cuts while New York misfired from midrange. It sure helps to have an MVP candidate on the team if you’re going to come in below 20% shooting from beyond the arc.

You’re an elf! And elves make toys!

This one’s a bit of a stretch, but Hermey’s declaration of love for the field of dentistry illustrates how everybody can fill a role. Today, the Bucks’ role players stepped up in a big way: Brook Lopez put up 20 points despite only making a single three-pointer, Malcolm Brogdon logged 17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals, and Thon Maker added 12 points and a pair of blocks off the bench. With Eric Bledsoe (11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) somewhat muted and Khris ice-cold (more on him next), it was crucial to have multiple Bucks pitch in to support Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP-level effort (30 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks).

Frosty’s not gone for good!

There were whispers that Khris Middleton was coming out of his slump, but it seems that he saw his shadow during Tuesday’s matinee matchup and has a few more games of cold shooting. It wasn’t all bad, as he still managed to end up with a plus-minus of +3, but his 2/12 performance from the field shows that he still has a ways to go to get back on track. But, like the magical snowman everyone seems to enjoy for reasons unknown to me, Khris will bounce back. Let’s just hope that it comes before next winter.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • There was a moment where Giannis was running in transition and Tim Hardaway Jr. smartly slowed his progress so that Giannis would not be able to jump over him again. It was subtle, but hysterical.
  • Game of Zones had a special episode drop today! It has nothing to do with the Bucks, but I enjoyed it.
  • Mario Hezonja, He Who Can Dish Out Smoke But Surely Couldn’t Take It, did not take the floor for a second this game. It was probably a smart move on Dave Fizdale’s part to protect Hezonja’s mind, spirit, and body.
  • Seriously, Hezonja turned away from the play when Giannis did this, which was mere moments after “dunking on” the Greek Freak. I know it wasn’t from today’s game, but come on, man.
  • In other news, you can count Noah Vonleh among the players who get amped up to defend Giannis. It will be worth monitoring on Thursday, when these teams play again.