(I have a confession to make: the Knicks are my favorite schadenfreude team. For anyone unfamiliar with this wonderful German term, it means “pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.” It is terribly unhealthy to enjoy it too much, and it’s not particularly wholesome since it explicitly comes at the expense of someone else. That being said, I don’t hate the Knicks; I love to see the Knicks fail. I just do. #lolKnicks is not just a hashtag for me, it is a way of life. I am very excited for tonight’s game.)
All they do is win, these days. It’s been 11 games and 11 Ws, and there just hasn’t been that much to complain about. In our most recent entry of “Last 10, Next 10,” we did recognize how the Bucks are giving up a lot of threes (particularly open threes) to opposing offenses, but that’s in exchange for a league-leading effort defending inside the arc (lowest FG% allowed on two-pointers, lowest frequency of FGA at the rim, lowest FG% at the rim, etc.). This is the new reality we live in; the Bucks are elite and can — and often times should — beat any team, anytime. If you want to see why, look no further than Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In terms of availability, the Bucks will likely be without Sterling Brown (shoulder) and Brook Lopez (back) is listed as doubtful. Additionally, Thanasis Antetokounmpo (illness) may or may not suit up.
Player to Watch: Donte DiVincenzo
Our friends at the Brew Hoop Podcast rightfully carried the flame for Donte’s Inferno, and the Big Ragu has not disappointed after being given the opportunity to contribute more. He’s boasting a +19.4 net rating on the season (per NBA.com/stats), and even his wayward three-point shot (up to 35.9% on the year) is starting to come around. Look for him lurking to snap up passes with any air whatsoever under them, leaping to secure a contested rebound, or whip the ball behind his back when his dribble gets pressured in transition. He’s not an All Star, but he’s Donte “Doing Things” DiVincenzo.
(lol) Knicks Update
Ahhhh, the Knicks. They have an owner who might be the worst in all of professional sports, a front office that’s already in complete “self-preservation” mode (after 10 games!), a coach that’s doing his best but knows he’s gonna be the scapegoat, and a roster built by the AI of a malfunctioning copy of NBA 2K17. After clearing max cap space for...someone...the Knicks landed Julius Randle (who’s good!), Bobby Portis (who’s okay!), Taj Gibson (who’s...also okay!), Reggie Bullock (who’s...fine?), and Marcus Morris (who’s...hurt!). Oh, and they traded away Kristaps Porzingis because he knew they weren’t going anywhere and they could not convince him otherwise. Because they hoarded so many power forwards and turned the keys to the backcourt over to a number of young, developing guards (R.J. Barrett being the notable prospect), the Knicks are a testament to the power of poor planning and worse execution.
You hate to see it.
On the health side of things, New York is missing a fair number of players today; Elfrid Payton (hamstring) and Reggie Bullock (back) will be out, Marcus Morris (neck) missed the Knicks’ matchup against Boston yesterday, and Frank Ntilikina (back) is day-to-day after leaving the Celtics game.
Player to Watch: Kevin Knox
Knox is among New York’s most promising prospects in the backcourt, even if he just got benched for no reason. His development is a key indicator of the team’s prospects, and while he’s a promising three point shooter (37.7% on the season), he hasn’t shown much ability anywhere else in terms of production. He does have a knack for finding midrange jumpers, though, and the Bucks defense is always open to conceding those shots...maybe Knox has a bit of a breakout game, who knows?
Game 21: Against New York, the Bucks will...
This poll is closed
Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)