Ouch. Not much to say about this one. The Bucks got off to a scalding start, led 41-19 after a quarter and dropped a 27-point beatdown on the Knicks. After Milwaukee’s 14/17 start from the field, the Knicks actually tightened up and played passable defense the rest of the way. The Knicks’ offense, however, was nowhere close to good enough to take them out of their early hole; their 38% shooting night was characterized by poor ball movement, lots of perimeter jumpers early in the shot clock and — perhaps most damaging to their chances — 20 turnovers that led to 31 Milwaukee points.
Individually, Amare Stoudemire scored 19 points on 13 field goal attempts in just 28 minutes of play but grabbed only 4 rebounds and compiled a +/- of -18. Anthony Randolph had his best run of the young season in the first half before drifting back out of the flow after halftime; overall he finished with a well-rounded line of 8 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks (albeit on a lowly 2/7 performance from the field). Ray Felton’s 8 assists were off-set by 6 turnovers and Danilo Gallinari turned back the clock to October by missing 5 of his 6 field attempts (although he did lead the team with a gaudy 0 in the +/- column).
After doing a great job on John Wall last Friday, the Knicks perimeter defenders looked more like the group that allowed Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose to put up big numbers the week before. The Douglas/Felton pairing conceded 19 points on 13 shots to Brandon Jennings, who also picked up 6 assists and 5 rebounds without turning the ball over. Corey Maggette’s proficiency for shooting free throws with quantity and quality permitted him to score 14 points on only 6 field goal attempts. Drew Gooden started off hot but missed 9 of his last 10 shots in what appeared to be a desperate attempt to let the Knicks back into the game. It didn’t work.
Hopefully the Knicks come out with some more measured enthusiasm on Wednesday night for their showdown with the Golden State Warriors and our old buddy David Lee. Hopefully.
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