Again, Milwaukee came out looking a little sluggish in the first quarter against New York, trailing 28-24 after a poor quarter shooting from deep. In the second, Milwaukee found its groove with some treys, and pulled ahead 53-48 by halftime. Oh, and Khris Middleton went 7-11 for 16 points, grabbing his slump by the scruff and tossing it into the trash. In the third, Milwaukee grabbed more control behind some timely defense, notching an 87-77 advantage heading into the final quarter. In the fourth, it was never in doubt, as the Bucks pulled this one out easily.
New York is hapless, but two games in a row against a team isn’t always the easiest task for a team to complete. Milwaukee had little trouble tonight after the first quarter though, a further indication of their increased competency this season in terms of taking care of typical business, night in and night out.
Giannis Antetokounmpo followed up his stellar Christmas day outing with another smashing performance, going for 31 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists and four blocks. He even hit a three, but his highlight was methodically pummeling the Knicks down low and getting Enes Kanter tossed after Kanter tried to toss his elbow into Giannis’ stout skull. Poor choice my man.
Middleton finally looked like himself again tonight, interestingly while taking a far fewer number of 3-point attempts (3), but he went for 25 points on 10-17 shooting. Eric Bledsoe was again quiet with just eight points, but he didn’t dominate the shot chart, allowing Brook Lopez to pick up the slack and hit for 17 points on the evening. D.J. Wilson had his first career double double at 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Subbing Luke Kornet for Enes Kanter paid huge dividends for the Knicks tonight, as he went 7-11 from deep tonight to land with 23 points on the night. It was a tough evening for just about every other Knick besides Noah Vonleh (15 points/13 boards), as Emmanuel Mudiay had only 13 points. Kevin Knox had just 12 on 4-15 shooting.
Stat that Stood Out
I know it’s all Bucks fans can talk about nowadays, but I’m still in shock at the fact D.J. Wilson can snag double digit rebounds; 14 tonight in fact. His double double left me awestruck, as I’ve just never assumed he’d be able to put on enough muscle to make his rebounding worth a darn. Not to mention the fact his hands have felt like they’ve been covered in ball-repellent lotion. His turnaround has been staggering, to say the least.