Finally, the Knicks didn’t have to worry about their offense. Despite entering the game with the 28th ranked offense, they shot 55.8% (eFG) from the field and had a rebound percentage of 32.3%. Unfortunately it was their defense that let them down, as they lost by 20 to the Milwaukee Bucks in New York.
Channing Frye started off sizzling hot. He hit his first 6 shots, embarrassing fellow rookie Andrew Bogut along the way. Bogut did get his revenge on the 7th shot, blocking Frye and grabbing the loose ball all in one motion. Unfazed, Channing came right back at the Aussie. Frye received the ball on the left block with Bogut behind him, and turned to face the hoop. He faked a step towards the hoop creating enough space to square himself and bury a twelve footer. A few minutes later Robinson would hit Frye cutting to the hoop, and Channing would earn two trips to the line.
The amazing aspect is Frye did all of the above in the first quarter. On the night, the Knicks’ rookie went 14-18 for 30 points, and threw in 7 boards, 2 blocks, 2 assists, and a steal. Unfortunately while Frye was helping his case for rookie of the year, the Bucks were busy improving their position in the standings.
Yesterday’s victory should pull the Bucks even with the Pacers for 4th spot in the East. Seemingly, Milwaukee only needed three ways to score against New York. The first was to have T.J. Ford drive to the hoop unabated and kick the ball out for a three point shot. The second was to have Redd or Williams use off the ball screens to get open for a three point shot. The final way was to have Dan Gadzuric beat in transition whichever Knick bigman was on the floor at the time. Of course when any of those failed Magloire, Bogut, or Gadzuric would just grab the Milwaukee miss so that they could try again. Not that the Bucks missed much.
Milwaukee shot 61.5% (eFG) from the field, and was more accurate from three point land (12 of 19) than the Knicks were from the line (6-13). They hit the century mark half way through the 4th quarter, which for those that like fractions was 7/8 through the game. The Bucks were lead by their two APBRmetric friendly players. Former cover boy of the 2003 Basketball Prospectus, Michael Redd, scored 31 points with a eFG% of 67.6% and a TS% of 74.0%. Gadzuric who normally sticks out numerically for his ability to rebound, steal, and block shots, was second on the Bucks with 18 points. While he didn’t record a single steal or blocked shot, his agility earned him easy bucket after easy bucket in transition.
Knick fans who stuck around to the bitter end, were treated to a Qyntel Woods sighting. Woods, doing what any player would trying to earn a spot on an NBA team, jacked up the ball at his first opportunity. He nailed that three, and went on to score 5 points in 7 minutes. Woods averaged 28.6 pts/40 on 83.3% shooting (eFG) for the night, but unfortunately for the Knicks it was one night where they didn’t need more offense.