The Bucks starting lineup absolutely dominated the Knicks in this contest. Their starters combined for 82 points, while shooting a ridiculous 56% from the field and 52% from three. Mlwaukee’s dominant play was led by their superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo finished the night with a triple-double (22 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists). Brook Lopez (14 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 blocks) and Khris Middleton (23 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals), both had fantastic games. As for the Knicks, Julius Randle (20 points and 8 rebounds) and Kevin Knox (19 points, 2 steals, and 3 blocks) played very well. RJ Barrett (17 points) and Elfrid Payton (10 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals) provided the Knicks lots of energy and positive play. Marcus Morris Sr. (11 points) and Mitchell Robinson (6 points and fouled out), had disappointing games.
Why The Knicks Lost
The Knicks lost this game completely due to their defense. The Bucks shot a scorching 18-43 (41.9%) from three and shot 48.2% from the floor. Milwaukee could’ve easily scored north of 130 points, as they missed 12 free throws and committed 19 turnovers. On defense, the Bucks contested 86 shots and allowed only 9 second chance points. The Knicks contested just 64 shots and gave up 20 second chance points. Milwaukee also scored 19 fast break points, compared to the Knicks 5. New York was outworked in a few stretches of the game (primarily in the 1st and 3rd Quarter), crushing their chances to defeat the best team in the league.
The Knicks will have a chance to redeem themselves, facing the Washington Wizards (8-20) in their next contest. They will need to pick-up their perimeter defense and play 48 minutes of hard basketball on both ends of the floor to win. Elfrid Payton appears to have locked in his role as the Knicks starting point guard and his veteran presence on the floor, should continue to help the Knicks gel together on the floor and improve the team’s play.