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Milwaukee vs. New York: Knicks Slam the Door on the Bucks, 113-98

Milwaukee crumbles after a hot first quarter start

New York Knicks v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

After a strong opening period of play, the Bucks crumbled in the final quarters of play, paving the way for a 113-98 victory for the visiting New York Knicks.

The three point ball was on fire for Milwaukee to start this one off. In the first 12 minutes of play, they’d go 8-of-16 from the perimeter, being led by Grayson Allen. He torched the Knicks for 14 points in the period — which included four threes. The strong shooting effort catapulted the Bucks to a large double-digit advantage for much of the quarter. They’d end the first holding a 38-19 advantage.

That double-digit advantage wouldn’t continue through all of the second quarter. At around the midway point, New York would finally close things to within single digits. Milwaukee would keep them at bay and not put their lead in too much of jeopardy. At halftime, the Bucks led, 63-56.

The third quarter would come and the Bucks just couldn’t shake off the Knicks. Their hustle and determination kept them around, led by strong play from their duo of RJ Barrett and Julius Randle. The Knicks would gain control of the lead late in the quarter. Heading into the fourth, New York clung to a five point lead.

Yet in another game, Derrick Rose would come alive against the Bucks. His display in the fourth quarter gave New York their biggest lead of the game to date, as they owned their first double-digit advantage with just over eight minutes left. From that point on, the Bucks were simply unable to carve out any opportunity of winning this one. Empty possessions and second chance points really helped the Knicks close things out down the stretch. They would end up winning, 113-98.

For Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo would lead the way with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Grayson Allen had another creative outing, going for 22 points on a nifty 8-of-12 shooting. He’d also connect on six threes.

Julius Randle exploded for a game-high 32 points, taking 22 attempts. Derrick Rose would be a massive spark off the bench, contributing with 23 points. RJ Barrett also made his presence felt with 20 points.

What Did We Learn?

This was the type of game where the Bucks could’ve definitely used Khris Middleton. During the second half when Milwaukee’s lead was dwindling, they were looking for anything to get them going. However, they were simply unable to find any sort of rhythm after opening things up wide in the first half. Middleton would’ve surely been able to put in a few big shots in those moments. It’ll be interesting to see if the team will be able to shake off the shaky offensive output moving forward, as they’ll definitely still be missing what Middleton brings to the table in the upcoming slate of games.

Three Observations

This was a tale of one quarter vs. three quarters.

In his postgame presser, Mike Budenholzer really emphasized just how poor of a job the team did in the later stages of the game. In reality, it really was seemingly night and day. There were major contrasts in the offensive and defensive categories. No rhythms could be developed on the offensive side of the ball and Milwaukee could never get the shots they needed to after a hot start to the game by Grayson Allen. The Knicks were also able to have their way on the glass, outmuscling the Bucks on numerous occasions. That was one of the things that Jrue Holiday really discussed in his postgame availability. Then, looking at the differences in free throws, New York saw the amount swing their favor in the second half. Add up all of those and you’re not going to win a lot of ball games.

Grayson Allen continued to look good for Milwaukee.

This was probably the brightest spot of the evening for the Bucks. Yet again, Grayson Allen showed what he can do with his shooting skills. Right out of the gates, he was being given space by the Knicks and taking advantage. He really seems to be getting in a groove with Giannis on the offensive end, and it’s good news for the Bucks when he’s on. He was able to connect on six threes on the evening, and go an overall 8-of-12 from the floor. With Middleton remaining sidelined due to the league’s health and safety protocol, the strong shooting from Allen will be greatly appreciated by Milwaukee. It was also interesting to hear Allen talk about his defensive skills. He mentioned how that’s what he takes pride in the most and that he’s developed the most in his time in the NBA. He said how he expects to have good nights on the offensive end, but he really becomes happy when he can have a strong night on the defensive end.

Derrick Rose continues to be a Bucks killer.

This guy is just unreal in matchups against Milwaukee. Last night felt like it was the 2015 playoffs all over again. Derrick Rose wouldn’t start for New York, but man, did he have an impact. He was a very large reason as to how New York flipped the script in the final three quarters. He sliced and diced his way through the Bucks defense, seemingly scoring at will. In the end, he’d explode for 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting. He’s definitely at the list of all-time Bucks killers. I can’t remember the last time he had an off game against them.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Another positive that came out of this one was some of Giannis’ 3-point shooting. He’d go 2-of-7 from the perimeter on the evening, but one of them was a nifty catch-and-shoot at the top of the key. That was well done from the Greek Freak.
  • Semi continues to really struggle for the Bucks. He’d miss yet another 3-point attempt and mustered only two points on the evening, going 1-of-4 from the floor. He’s now sitting at 0-for-12 from deep on the season.
  • Yet again, we also saw the impact that Brook has defense and how much Milwaukee misses him. Jrue mentioned how without Lopez, the team has to be more attentive and box out more effectively with those small ball lineups.
  • How much have the Bucks missed their Big Three? Take a look at this:
  • This was the first night back that Jrue played in a while. He’d finish his outing with 10 points in just over ten minutes of action. In his postgame availability, he mentioned how he felt alright but still needs to get back out there and get his feet under himself and re-gain that consistency.