In the first game back from the All-Star Break, the Milwaukee Bucks would waste no time getting back to business with a resounding 134-101 victory over the New York Knicks.
The Knicks would jump out to a small lead to start this one, but it wouldn’t be long before the Bucks cam roaring back. They’d rattle off a 12-0 run in the blink of an eye, forcing the Knicks to call a timeout. Paced by ten points from Brook Lopez, the Bucks would take a 32-27 advantage after one into the second quarter.
Milwaukee would keep pouring it on the Knicks in the second, both inside and outside. The Bucks’ lead would balloon to double digits, thanks to double-digit first half point efforts from Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Donte DiVincenzo. At the intermission, Milwaukee saw themselves up 68-51.
The Bucks would continue to cruise throughout the third, with the Knicks not putting up much of a fight at all. It’d be a similar story in the fourth, with the reserves quickly playing mop up duty and closing out this one. When the dust was all done and settled, the score would finish at 134-101 victory for the Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo would earn another triple-double, concluding his efforts with a 24 point, ten rebound, and ten assist performance. Bryn Forbes made a very solid contribution off the bench with 21 points, all of which came from the three ball (a perfect 7-of-7 on the night).
RJ Barrett led the Knicks in scoring with 22 points.
What Did We Learn?
I mentioned this as the Stat That Stood Out in the Rapid Recap, but Brook Lopez had quite the showing. He’d finish with 14 points (which included a pair of threes) and ten of those came in the first quarter, which helped the Bucks dictate the control of this one right out of the gates. He also recorded five blocks on the defensive end, which I’m quite sure is a season high. Bud mentioned in his postgame availability just how big Brook is and the fact that he came back strong after the All-Star Break is a positive sign. If this is indeed a sign of things to come, that will mean very good things for this Bucks squad.
There wasn’t much rust for Giannis in this one.
Fresh off his All-Star Game MVP, the Greek Freak didn’t waste much time to get back to his normal self. The Knicks would simply have nothing to stop him or get in his way. He’d rattle off a triple-double with ease, totaling 24 points, ten rebounds and ten assists. Giannis is the type of caliber of player that you wouldn’t expect any rust to exist, but still, it was great to see him pick up right where he left off.
There was quite the balance of scoring across the board.
Seven Bucks players would find double-digits in this one (Giannis, Middleton, Lopez, Holiday, DiVincenzo, Augustin, and Forbes). Against a resurgent Knicks team, that goes a long way and it really aided the Bucks in their victory last night. Bud would be quick to praise it in his postgame availability, immediately dishing thoughts towards the ball movement and everybody’s willingness to find the open guy. Plain and simple, when the Bucks are communicating and moving the basketball that effectively, that offense is humming like a fine-tooth comb and is tough to crack.
Have a game, Bryn Forbes!
We all know how well Bryn Forbes can shoot the basketball, and he put that on full display last night. He’d cap off his night with a season-high 21 points on the evening, a shooting display which featured a perfect performance from beyond the arc (7-of-7). In his postgame presser, Bud attributed this performance as one they knew that they would be getting once they knew he was going to be a member of the Bucks. Whenever he can come off the bench and provide a spark like that, it adds another dimension to just how dangerous this squad can be on the offensive side of the basketball.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Last night was the first game back in the starting lineup for Holiday since contracted COVID-19 and boy, was it nice for the Bucks to have him back. Right out of the gates, he played a role in Milwaukee leaping out to a double-digit advantage, and ultimately, a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Holiday would finish with 11 points in 25 minutes played.
- You’ve heard of the Kareem skyhook, but have you heard of the Thanasis skyhook?
Now, let’s upgrade that:
- Those new Earned jerseys may be my favorite Bucks jerseys after the road Milwaukee ones. They were CLEAN and looked incredible out on the floor. They were knocked out of the park.
- Mamadi Diakite earned his first minutes of his career, much to the satisfaction of Bucks Twitter. In five minutes played, he tallied two points on 1-of-2 shooting, an assist, and two personal fouls. I’m sure the highlight video has already circulated around Twitter by the time this piece has been published. Mayor Tom Barrett is announcing his statue on the Riverwalk at 5 p.m. CST.