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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Preseason Game Thread: Knicks v. Bucks

In anticipation of the last leg of this too-long road trip, made possible by the installation of fancy newfangled gee-gaws and whiz-bangers at the World’s Most Famous, I asked friend-of-the-blog, Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball to provide this handy-dandy primer on the kids from Milwaukee.

1. There’s been a lot of chatter about Herb Kohl’s “win now/no rebuilding” demands and how it affected the Bucks’ offseason. What did you think of the moves they made? What was the best signing or trade/what was the worst?

It’s hard not to get swept up in Giannis fever right now, so I’ll say drafting him was the best move the Bucks made this offseason. Kohl certainly wants to contend, so it’s nice to see that John Hammond was able to operate under that mandate but also take a big swing for the fences too.

As far as trades and signings go, I’ll go with the Brandon Jennings for Brandon Knight trade. Jennings had to go and maybe Knight isn’t the answer at point guard, but the Bucks can take this season to see if he is or isn’t. Then they’ll be in position to either move forward with him or address the position in an upcoming point guard right (possibly) draft. That sounds a lot better than investing four more years into Brandon Jennings.


2. Who are the youngsters (Young Bucks, if you will) that we should keep an eye on. Feel free to wax poetic about Giannis.
Giannis will make you keep an eye on him at some point. He’ll do something that draws everyone’s attention at some point and a lot of things that will make you wonder what the fuss is all about the rest of the game. But that one moment, that’s what we’re living for in Milwaukee right now.

Other than that, John Henson has a swooping lefty hook that’s interesting and a healthy appetite for rebounds. Larry Sanders is known now, but he still blocks shots and gets agitated. Khris Middleton has been getting a lot of minutes at the three and four as a shooter/scorer type, so he might make some plays tonight.

 

3. When attempting to forecast the seedings in the Eastern Conference, most talk about a top four — Miami, Indiana, Chicago, and Brooklyn — then the Knicks, and then the remaining three playoff spots essentially being up for grabs for any team not located in Philadelphia, Boston, Orlando, or Charlotte. How do you feel about the Bucks’ chances? Where do you think they’ll finish this season?

Before the preseason started I thought the Bucks were a contender for that sixth spot in the East possibly. Now I think they’re a possible longer shot at the playoffs than anyone in Milwaukee realized. A lot is going to rest of Knight actually being a point guard that can create for his teammates and OJ Mayo being able to handle the number one scoring duties with success. Those are two shaky propositions.
The early season may be rough, but I’m still thinking they can sneak into the playoffs. The eight or nine spot have been home for the Bucks often over the past 10 years and I suspect they’ll find that home again this season.

58 comments on “Preseason Game Thread: Knicks v. Bucks

  1. cgreene

    Disappointed w the lack of chatter here. The Knicks defense looks awful. Also the rotations Woodson has w playing Bargs at center are alarming

  2. BigBlueAL

    I have a feeling Woody having a long leash with Bargs is gonna be an annoying issue this season. Playing him at C especially.

  3. er

    cgreene:
    Melo and Bargs shooting have both been bad.

    Melo is 2/3 but the d is awful all around. Thj wouldn’t be playing this much shump n jr and prob Beno are ahead of him at the 2

  4. stratomatic

    Bargnani is simply awful. He has some skills, but he’s so horrible at so many things you need from a big man he shouldn’t ever be on the court.

  5. stratomatic

    mase:
    How about this 5 starting…
    Beno
    Iman
    Mwp
    Melo
    Tyson

    That’s their best team, but the coach has no idea that’s the case. He’ll keep playing Felton and Bargs.

  6. lavor postell

    It’s pretty apparent to me that Felton’s ability to penetrate is sorely missed. I think him and Udrih together in the backcourt may be able to do some special things offensively.

  7. stratomatic

    Mark this post down.

    Prediction part 1.

    As soon as this season starts going badly (the Knicks are only playing around .500 ball) and it’s clear this team is going nowhere, Melo is either going to start complaining about his shoulder or his “team” will start complaining about his supporting cast.

    Prediction part 2.

    The media, fans, and Hahn, Wally Z, etc….are all going to buy into it and defend him.

  8. er

    DRed:
    I’m going to be annoyed when they cut Aldrich.

    I’m with u. I like Ike but we already have enough offensive bigs. Cole does the grunt work like Kmart and tyson

  9. DRed

    Lil’Cock seems to have some potential, but I hope Woody was joking when he said he’d earned his way into the rotation already. Toure’ looks better than I expected.

  10. BigBlueAL

    DRed:
    Lil’Cock seems to have some potential, but I hope Woody was joking when he said he’d earned his way into the rotation already.Toure’ looks better than I expected.

    They r both better than James White at least.

  11. cgreene

    This is pretty bad. The injury bug has hit and we haven’t even started. Feels like February right now

  12. ruruland

    Knicks lost to Philly in the second to last preseason game of the year (the one where the starters get extended) trailing by 20+ points in the second quarter.

    But I’m sure this is a much different situation, and that the same people who proclaimed the Knicks season over during every losing streak last season are right on this time.

  13. ruruland

    cgreene:
    This is pretty bad. The injury bug has hit and we haven’t even started. Feels like February right now

    Except everyone is expected back and the Knicks aren’t looking at any long-term injuries. They’re way ahead of where they were last year in the pre-season.

  14. DRed

    What I hope Woody learns tonight-never ever ever ever ever play Bargnani at center in a real NBA game, and sign Cole Aldrich.

  15. ruruland

    DRed:
    What I hope Woody learns tonight-never ever ever ever ever play Bargnani at center in a real NBA game, and sign Cole Aldrich.

    I’d do against Indiana, and maybe this just being a totally insane homer who happens to be right most of the time, but maybe Bargs is getting burn at C because K-Mart and Amar’e are out and Woodson is conserving Chandler?

    But yeah, no question Knicks should sign Cole and if K-Mart and Amar’e are out, he should definitely take center minutes from AB..

  16. DRed

    Novak is an incredible; he far outproduces any other 3pt specialist in the NBA. And he has a chance to be the greatest spot-up 3pt shooter in the history of basketball. He’s already shown improvement defensively and on the boards from last season. You’re not going to find much better bang for your 24-28 minutes.

    Camby is injury prone. Some of us told you that he’d miss quite a few games, and he’d always be out longer than the prognosis.

    He’ll still likely give the Knicks 60-65 games, and understands when he can give himself xtra time. Hint: veterans hate training camp.

    Last year, Brewer got more minutes than Korver, Gibson, Asik and Watson,.

    Same thing the year before.

    Is he amazing? No, but is he one of the more underrated starting role players in the NBA? yes.is he one of the best defensive wings in the NBA? Yes. Were the Knicks incredibly fortunate that he wanted to sign here for the minimum? Yes.

    bwahahahahahahaha

  17. ruruland

    I know the defense has been bad, and I personally believe it will be better, but since we’re using this game as evidence to support our pre-season prognostication, the Knicks have 15 offensive rebounds and 80 points despite 9/28 from 3 and 13/20 from the ft line.

  18. BigBlueAL

    Im telling you, for me at least its going to be fascinating to see the lineups Woodson uses. There is so much depth and lineup combinations available to him. I honestly believe his lineup and rotation decisions will be the difference between winning 54 games again or winning less than 50 games. I think its that sensitive a balance.

  19. DRed

    ruruland: I’d do against Indiana, and maybe this just being a totally insane homer who happens to be right most of the time, but maybe Bargs is getting burn at C because K-Mart and Amar’e are out and Woodson is conserving Chandler?

    But yeah, no question Knicks should sign Cole and if K-Mart and Amar’e are out, he should definitely take center minutes from AB..

    I assume Bargs is playing center because it’s the preseason and Woody figures let’s give it a shot. At least I hope so. Because he’s a ridiculously bad center.

  20. BigBlueAL

    MWP has an open look at a 3pter, pump fakes and drives to take a contested pullup 18 fter that barely hits rim. He then almost twice steals the ball in the backcourt. Its gonna be fun watching him for an entire season lol.

  21. ruruland

    DRed:
    Novak is an incredible; he far outproduces any other 3pt specialist in the NBA. And he has a chance to be the greatest spot-up 3pt shooter in the history of basketball. He’s already shown improvement defensively and on the boards from last season. You’re not going to find much better bang for your 24-28 minutes.

    Camby is injury prone. Some of us told you that he’d miss quite a few games, and he’d always be out longer than the prognosis.

    He’ll still likely give the Knicks 60-65 games, and understands when he can give himself xtra time. Hint: veterans hate training camp.

    Last year, Brewer got more minutes than Korver, Gibson, Asik and Watson,.

    Same thing the year before.

    Is he amazing? No, but is he one of the more underrated starting role players in the NBA? yes.is he one of the best defensive wings in the NBA? Yes. Were the Knicks incredibly fortunate that he wanted to sign here for the minimum? Yes.

    bwahahahahahahaha

    Novak is one of the greatest 3-pt spot-up shooters of all-time, and his defense and rebounding did improve some last year, but not enough to warrant post-season playing time with an injured Chandler and a lack of shot creation.

    Novak’s abilities could be better leveraged in a more balanced offensive lineup with a better defensive center.

    In some situations I think he’s superior to AB.

    Brewer definitely slipped a lot more after surgery than a lot of us though, but I was way off there.

    But I stand by everything in there. I didn’t say I was always correct, just most of the time.

    Do you honestly believe Woodson will play AB at center if he has a full bench?

  22. cgreene

    BigBlueAL:
    Im telling you, for me at least its going to be fascinating to see the lineups Woodson uses.There is so much depth and lineup combinations available to him.I honestly believe his lineup and rotation decisions will be the difference between winning 54 games again or winning less than 50 games.I think its that sensitive a balance.

    Agreed. And if this is his instinct relative to closing games with Udrih/Felton Shump Metta Melo Chandler (with doses of JR thrown in for either Metta to go small or Shump if JR is hot) then I’m down :)

    See, Ruru, I can be happy

  23. ruruland

    DRed: I assume Bargs is playing center because it’s the preseason and Woody figures let’s give it a shot.At least I hope so.Because he’s a ridiculously bad center.

    If AB was playing well offensively against Indiana, you have to play him at center to see if Vogel would take Hibbert out, right?

  24. flossy

    I would like Barngani to work out for the Knicks and I think he can be a net positive, but man oh man did he suck tonight. 13 points on 9 shots looks nice, but he and Melo at C and PF is just beyond atrocious defensively and he personally makes Amar’e Stoudemire look like Bill Russell. 1 rebound in 25 minutes? Not going to cut it. It’s like he actually goes limp every time a shot goes up.

    I’m not exactly worried about it though–I have to believe he’ll be on a much shorter leash/in a much smaller role once the Knicks have at least one of JR and Amar’e back in the rotation, preferably both.

    I though Aldrich was great in 14 minutes of burn. The team’s defense and rebounding made a quantum leap every time he subbed in for Bargs. Looks like a legit 3rd string center to me. I didn’t watch any Summer League so I have no idea what Jeremy Tyler is all about. Is he worth keeping at the exclusion of one of Diogu or Aldrich (assuming Murry gets the 3rd to last roster spot)?

  25. nicos

    mase:
    I think Woodson is a beno fan… If we are not winning 15 games into the season, watch out Raymond

    Woodson’s definitely a Felton fan too- hard to see him getting benched unless he’s absolutely awful.

  26. yellowboy90

    I didn’t think Bargs looked that bad defensively. I think the help rotations failed him a few times when he was defending the pnr.

    I also liked that he boxed out but I think everyone agrees that he does not attack the ball at all. They need to put him in 1 on 2 rebounding drills where he is boxing out his man and attacking the ball before the shooter/offensive player ca get it.

  27. BigBlueAL

    Noah questionable for season opener vs the Heat on Tuesday. Hopefully he sits out their home opener too.

  28. nicos

    flossy:

    I though Aldrich was great in 14 minutes of burn.The team’s defense and rebounding made a quantum leap every time he subbed in for Bargs.Looks like a legit 3rd string center to me.I didn’t watch any Summer League so I have no idea what Jeremy Tyler is all about.Is he worth keeping at the exclusion of one of Diogu or Aldrich (assuming Murry gets the 3rd to last roster spot)?

    I think it’s possible that Murry is the odd guy out- he’s 4th on the depth chart at both the one and two (really 5th as a point because Shump would probably start over him if Felton, Beno, and Pablo were all injured. With Amar’e and Martin not having even played a game yet I can see the Knicks possibly signing both Aldrich and Diogu. The question then becomes do you take Murry or Tyler- Tyler’s two years younger and plays a harder position to fill. I like Murry but combo guards are pretty easy to find.

  29. BigBlueAL

    nicos: I think it’s possible that Murry is the odd guy out- he’s 4th on the depth chart at both the one and two (really 5th as a point because Shump would probably start over him if Felton, Beno, and Pablo were all injured.With Amar’e and Martin not having even played a game yet I can see the Knicks possibly signing both Aldrich and Diogu.The question then becomes do you take Murry or Tyler- Tyler’s two years younger and plays a harder position to fill.I like Murry but combo guards are pretty easy to find.

    No need to keep Tyler, Aldrich and Diogu. 2 of the 3 along with Murry should be the way to go. Would prefer Aldrich and Diogu cause they are more of a sure thing to me than Tyler but I get keeping the younger player with more upside.

  30. KnickfaninNJ

    Watching this game towards the end, i was struck by the thought that if Woody starts Chandler, Bargnani, Melo, Felton and JR, then the backups would be Prigioni/Udrih, Shumpert, MWP, and maybe Kmart and Amare. The first team would be much more offense than defense and the second team the opposite. When both the Knicks and their opponents had their benches in, I don’t think the game would be pretty, but I don’t think the Knicks would fall behind either.

  31. mokers

    I would rather stay young for 13-15. Murry, Aldrich, Tyler would be the order for me. I liked diogu’s game the more I saw it and he does play big, but I still think we need bodies and defense at the end of the bench more than another person to score.

  32. Donnie Walsh

    ruruland:
    But I’m sure this is a much different situation, and that the same people who proclaimed the Knicks season over during every losing streak last season are right on this time.

    Come on, man– you sound like the Knicks won the chip last season. The folks that proclaimed the season over were right. The Knicks lost to a team you thought they would beat. You were wrong, the critics were right. Own up to it.

  33. massive

    A silver lining to tonight is that Melo is showing that he can affect the game outside of being a scorer. His shot was off tonight at 8 for 23, but he did have 9 rebounds and 7 assists.

    Melo seems to struggle defending in space, and watching Bargnani rebound and play defense is like listening to nails scratching against a board while is screaming on a set of Bose QC headphones. Woodson needs to stop complicating his defense and make it a little more simple. He seems to be the D’Antoni of defense in that he believes more in the system than his players. Hopefully, we’ll get it together. The Knicks just seemed to be all “ehh, it’s the preseason and the Bucks” tonight. I think we’ll eat them in 7 days.

  34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I expect this season to be a lot of hemming and hawing about how the pieces should work together, but not a lot of discussion on how they don’t.

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