From Marc Berman:
In what the franchise prays is not a harbinger, the Knicks initiated the season’s second half in Milwaukee in disastrous form Thursday.
After all the hope garnered from their season’s first half, the Knicks looked unrecognizable as they fell behind by 35 points in the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum.
The Bucks, blown out by the Knicks in an early-season contest, gained sweet revenge with a 134-101 pounding behind All-Star MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s triple-double (24 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists in 29 minutes). The 134 points were the most allowed by the Knicks this season.
“Obviously disappointed with the result,’’ Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We were all out of sorts. I don’t think anyone played particularly well.’’
As Julius Randle goes, so goes the Knicks. And he didn’t go well. Randle admitted afterward he has a history of slow starts after the All-Star break.
Randle, who watched live as “the Greek Freak’’ went 16-for-16 in Sunday’s All-Star Game, had a poor post-break outing. Swarmed by the Bucks’ defense, Randle finished with seven points, shot 3 of 12 and committed five turnovers. He did post six assists, but the league’s leader in minutes looked lethargic.
What the fuck does “I have a history of slow starts after the All-Star break” even mean? I get a player slowing down as the season goes along (especially if they’re leading the league in minutes), but somehow tying it to the All-Star break makes no sense.
Especially since Randle had three days off following the All-Star Game, so come on, the All-Star Game is no excuse. Why does he even need an excuse? Players sometimes have bad games, it’s not a hug deal. There doesn’t have to be some excuse for him just having a bad game.
The Knicks continue to miss Mitchell Robinson on defense, as they gave up a season-high in points (five of their ten highest opponent scoring games have occurred in the 11 games they’ve played without Mitch), but they also sadly seem to miss Derrick Rose, too, as the point guard play was putrid tonight.
In general, though, the Bucks were on top of their game tonight and when they’re on top of their game, they’re as good as any team in the NBA, so this was not really all that bad of a loss (okay, it was pretty bad, but you know what I mean. It wasn’t like the Knicks lost to the Pistons or something like that).
Hopefully they right things against a far weaker opponent, Oklahoma City, on Saturday!