After starting the season with back-to-back losses, the New York Knicks will shift their focus to tonight’s game vs the Bucks. After simply being outplayed by the 76ers yesterday, the Knicks look to earn their first win of the season. Unfortunately for them, the Bucks are a far superior team.
While Milwaukee lost its first game of the season to the Celtics, they followed it up with a huge 138-99 Christmas Day win over the Warriors. Khris Middleton, the team’s small forward, stole the show and scored 31 points.
The Knicks, throughout the first two games, have seen a small pattern develop. Even though they have played opponents strong in the first half, 2nd half collapses have derailed the team. Despite leading the Pacers at the half on Wednesday, the Knicks ended up losing by 14, 121-107. This is an area of concern for the team heading forward.
The Milwaukee Bucks have been a great regular season team recently. However, they have failed to get to a long-awaited NBA Finals. During the NBA restart last season, Milwaukee underwhelmed many and was eliminated in the second round vs the Miami Heat.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the heart, and soul of the team, has won two straight MVP awards. Antetokounmpo was also amongst the leaders in the race for Defensive Player of the Year.
A notable acquisition the Bucks made this past offseason was trading for former Pelican Jrue Holiday. The Shooting Guard was traded to the Bucks in exchange for George Hill, Eric Bledsoe, and draft capital. Holiday has had an impact on the team already, scoring 25 and 12 points in each of their two games. Holiday is also known for his great defensive play, which will help an already elite defensive team reach new heights.
What To Look For From The Knicks vs The Bucks
In recent years, the New York Knicks have been near the bottom of the league. After going 17-65 in 2018-19, the team followed it up with a 21-45 record a year ago. While most of the blame for poor play falls on team ownership and coaching, players are accountable too.
This past offseason was relatively quiet for the Knicks. Even though many expected the team to go after a star point guard, the team continues to rebuild through the draft. In the draft, the Knicks selected both Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley. Toppin, the team’s first selection with the eighth pick, is currently out with a calf strain. The rookie power forward from Dayton should return in a week. Later in the draft, the Knicks selected Kentucky point guard Immanuel Quickley. After a solid preseason, he is dealing with a hip injury and his status is currently unknown.
While there will be growing pains this year and most likely another lottery pick, the team has many young and emerging players. Young players such as RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson are poised to take a leap this season.
Though it is still early in the year, both teams are looking to find their identity early on. If the Knicks want to win, they must find ways to prevent Giannis Antetokounmpo from driving and scoring. Additionally, ball movement on offense is critical when playing great defenses.
I think the game will be all Bucks early on, but the Knicks will make a late push at a comeback. Ultimately, I think the Bucks are the better team and will beat the Knicks.