The New York Knicks started their second half of the season disappointingly. The Milwaukee Bucks blew past New York as they won 101-134. Giannis Antetokounmpo (24 points) and RJ Barrett (22 points) led the scoring for their respective sides. A turnover-prone Julius Randle had one of his worst games of this season. Everything seemed to click for Budenholzer’s men tonight as they gave a wake-up-call to their opponents. Here are the takeaways from the blowout in Milwaukee.
RJ Barrett has an impressive shooting game
RJ Barrett had one of his stronger games this season tonight. He was making the majority of his jump-shots as he finished 9/15. The Canadian sophomore played aggressively on offense and was one of the only bright spots for the Knicks. Barrett has significantly improved his shooting this season and has been able to give much more support to Julius Randle in comparison to the previous season. Barrett’s gritty nature of play has thrived under coach Thibodeau and has shown tremendous growth this season.
Julius Randle gives a lackluster performance
Julius Randle has been the Knicks’ engine this season. With 23 points per game and leading the Knicks to a winning record, he undoubtedly deserved the all-star selection he received. However, he had a less than convincing game against the Bucks tonight. With just seven points and a staggering five turnovers, the 26-year-old gave fans a ghastly deja-vue to last season. Randle looked tired and unprepared for the matchup against Giannis tonight. Fans will hope this was little more than just a fluke and will see him back to his best Saturday against the Thunder.
Bad Knick game or terrific game for the Bucks?
Although the Knicks were less than perfect against the Bucks, the question must be asked if they could’ve beat these Bucks on a regular night. Milwaukee shot a phenomenal 57% FG and 47% from three. A terrific game for coach Budenholzer’s team may not have even been contained by the gritty Knicks at their best. Not many could have competed with the Bucks tonight so the Knickerbockers should still be cut some slack. Nonetheless, this was still a poor performance from the Knicks who had an uncharacteristically lazy game tonight. It seems as though the blue and orange are too reliant on Julius Randle who has still yet to miss a game for his side this season.
The Knicks continue their road-trip with a game against Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s Thunder on Saturday. This will be a tough test for New York who lost to the 15-21 Oklahoma City earlier in the season. However, if they can get back on track, they’ll be ready for a mouth-watering clash against the Brooklyn Nets two days later.