All eyes will be on the Knicks tonight with the probable debut of Carmelo Anthony, but the team on the other side of the court is more than capable of stealing the spotlight. The Knicks put up a season-low 80 points on the road against the Bucks back on November 9th, and suffered an embarrassing 27-point loss. Obviously, a lot has changed in New York since then. But for what to expect from Milwaukee in tonight’s contest, here’s our interview with Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball.
[Also, I know you guys have offered follow-up questions for our blogger interviews in the past, and I’d love to get some of those answered for you. So if you have a question for “Cavs: The Blog” in advance of Friday’s game against Cleveland, leave it in the comments section and I’ll pick out a few to add to the interview.]
KB: The Bucks finished 6th in the East last season, but this year they’re 12 games under .500 and 3 1/2 games out of a playoff spot. What’s caused the team’s struggles so far this season?
Bucksketball: It’s nothing more complicated than an inability to make shots. Milwaukee’s last in the NBA in both offensive rating and field goal percentage — yes, even below the Cavs. It’s been a dreadful mix of players performing below their career averages, players not rebounding from injury and players not developing as the team had hoped.
KB: How do you think the Carmelo Anthony trade will change the Eastern Conference playoff race, if at all?
Bucksketball: This season, I don’t see it changing much. To me, this is a move that pays off in the future. Having two All-Stars and the allure of New York City makes the Knicks a destination again. I know the cap situation isn’t ideal, but I’m sure they will be able to figure something out. Free agents are going to be awfully interested in being a New York Knick for the first time in a long time.
KB: What impact do you think Michael Redd’s return will have on the Bucks?
Bucksketball: I think it will be limited. He’s coming off two major injuries to the same knee and showed some signs of slippage in each of the last two years anyway. He’s going to be relegated to a fairly minor bench role.
KB: Are the Bucks looking to make any moves before Thursday?
Bucksketball: If the Bucks make a move it won’t be significant, maybe a Chris Douglas-Roberts or Luc Mbah a Moute trade. Each of them will be a free agent after the season, and Mbah a Moute may draw enough interest that the Bucks wouldn’t want to match a deal he gets (he’ll be restricted).
KB: What else should Knick fans know about this team? What players we should look out for?
Bucksketball: Brandon Jennings seems to enjoy playing at the Garden. There was a lot of talk about how he wasn’t happy the Knicks passed him up. If Jennings gets hot, he can do a lot of damage. He can also miss a lot of shots and cause Bucks fans to pull their hair out, so we never know what to expect. Traditionally though, he’s the guy that should scare the Knicks.