The New York Knicks hoped to enter the second half of the season with a splashy acquisition. Ten years ago, the Knicks traded for Carmelo Anthony who made his debut against the Milwaukee Bucks. However, this time around no flashy trades were made. It made no difference as the Knicks defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 102-96.
The Bucks were without six of their key rotation players players as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo, and P.J. Tucker were out due to injury, while Bobby Portis was out for Covid protocols. The Knicks were not without their own injury scares as Julius Randle, Derrick Rose and Nerlens Noel were all game time decisions. Out of the three only Randle sat out the game. It seemed like the Knicks escaped the injury bug until Mitchell Robinson fractured his right foot with 5:46 left to go in the first quarter.
In Rose’s first game back since a Covid-19 scare, he finished with a very impressive 13 points off the bench. With Randle out for the game, the Bucks played a zone defense for much of the game. Rose’s ability to break down the zone and get to the paint was massive. The former MVP did not falter down the stretch. Rose did not show any rust after missing eleven games for the Knicks. Rose seemed to be excited during his interview with Mike Breen. However, that was short lived as Breen informed Rose of Mitch’s injury. Rose was at a loss for words after he was told the devastating news.
Alec Burks and RJ Barrett
Alec Burks scored a team high 21 points while shooting 6-12 from three. The six threes hit were a career high. The Knicks needed Burks’s offense as the team seemed to fall into an offense rut throughout several stretches of the game. However, the former Colorado Buffalo would not let the game slip away. Burks shot a particularly important free-throw with 8.6 remaining on the clock. Burks’s free-throw would put the Knicks up by four.
RJ Barrett would match Burks team high twenty-one points while also pouring in seven rebounds and seven assists. Barrett only shot 2-10 from three and 8-22 overall but his playmaking allowed for easy Knicks point throughout the entire game.
Meanwhile for the Bucks, big brother to the Greek Freak poured in a game high twenty-three points. Thanasis Antetokounmpo shot 4-5 from three and chipped in with ten rebounds. Jordan Nwora matched Antetokounmpo’s four threes while also scoring twenty-one points for the Bucks. With the loss the Bucks fall to 29-16. The Bucks are currently holding the third seed in the eastern conference.
With the victory over the Bucks, the Knicks currently hold the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 24-22 record. Coming up next for the Knicks are the Miami Heat on Monday March 27th at Madison Square Garden. After the Heat the Knicks face off against Tom Thibodeau’s former team The Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday the 31st.