Game 1 Quick Recap: Knicks 122 Bucks 97

Just a quick look at the box score and some quick thoughts. Tomorrow morning I’ll share my game notes.

* Derrick Williams was on fire: 24 points on 17 shots.

* Co-MVP was Langston Galloway. 16 points on 10 shots, including 4-5 from downtown. He looked like he couldn’t miss. At the end of the game he had an easy layup and gave it up to Early for a bucket. Very unselfish!

* The offense looked good on designed plays. There were a number of scores after breaks, and as a Knick fan, I welcome this change. Credit: Derek Fisher.

* Melo had a quiet night in his return from injury. Thank goodness the Knicks didn’t need him. But Fisher still stuck him out there for 29 minutes, when he clearly wasn’t needed in the fourth quarter. Blame: Derek Fisher.

* Calderon looked awful. If him and Galloway play the same way for the next month, they’ll be switching spots.

* Zinger showed some flashes of what it is to come, but he’ll bring the growing pains with him. He looked best on defense (when his feet stayed on the floor).

* I’m moving to Milwaukee.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

40 thoughts to “Game 1 Quick Recap: Knicks 122 Bucks 97”

  1. Last year, the Knicks ruined Zlebron’s return to Cleveland. They just beat a depleted Bucks team. I’m saying this to try to keep my expectations in check.

    Oh, hell, who do I think I’m fooling? I have visions of the Knicks taking the Atlantic dancing through my head.

  2. Excellent start to the season. 81 to go. Derrick Williams was a monster tonight as was O’Quinn in the front court. Nothing bad to say except that it sucked to see Afflalo on the bench. How often are we going to win with Melo scoring 11 points?

  3. If you’re the Brow, why keep losing in NO when you can become a huge star in NY as Derrick Williams wingman?

  4. Excellent start to the season. 81 to go. Derrick Williams was a monster tonight as was O’Quinn in the front court. Nothing bad to say except that it sucked to see Afflalo on the bench. How often are we going to win with Melo scoring 11 points?

    The best part about the win was that they did it despite Melo having a terrible scoring night. The second best part of the win was watching Derek Fisher outcoach Jason Kidd. I know he was down a couple of regulars, but Kidd looked like he just took the night off. That said, Fish, come on, dude, you were up by, like, 17 points with 4 minutes to go. You can give Melo a rest. You do know you play tomorrow night, right?

  5. really great game but felt like a lot of flukey things…. winning big with a small melo contribution…. porzingis 12 fta…. galloway on fire…. and derrick williams my god…. not complaining tho…

    kyle oquinn i have a feeling is going to be a very big contributor… this is fairly in line with what he was doing in orlando and i’m most optimistic about for this season…

    fabulous game…

  6. Just finished watching the game off my dvr. Thank god for the Knicks after mets losing and now down 0-2. Really picked me up. Zinger looked strong. It felt like he belonged as the game went on. I think he can be a terrific player if he stays healthy. Also Williams sounded pretty intelligent when he was interviewed after the game. He didn’t sound at all like the low basketball IQ player he’s been portrayed as. Hope he keeps it up. For one night the Knicks upstaged my mets. I’m glad they play again tomorrow to keep me distracted.

  7. Milwaukee’s depleted roster makes this a win that isn’t indicative of much going forward. Still, it’s a win in the books.

    No idea why Melo was out there late. That’s Woodson foolishness by Fisher. And Lance should not be getting 20 minutes, even in a comfortable win. Give those minutes to Cle, Gallo, and Grant; let them develop.

  8. Tomorrow is a bigger test, on the back end of the back-to-back. It was a nice road win for the team.

    A reality check. Without the Greek Freak and OJ Mayo, the Bucks looked lame. They played like they were hanging out at a club with JR Smith. It was good to hear the Knicks take the win in stride. It was also great to drop the hammer on Monroe and Kidd.

    Another observation is that while they scored a lot of points, it was the defense that won this game. I saw interior defense, players diving on the floor for loose balls, tip-ins off of misses and all those little things that win NBA games.

  9. Porzingis is going to be a foul magnet, as MFC so aptly described a few days back. He played great in the paint tonight. He can hedge beyond the 3-pt line and cover a wing, get hot from 3, and cause problems inside with his length. How many guys are out there like that right now?

    He’s way ahead of schedule imo.

    I covered Williams in the Pac-12 and there is definitely a sustainable aspect to what he’s doing. He’s been a great finisher his whole career, but for some reason had never attacked at the rate he did in college.

    Melo was awful shooting but played good defense on Middleton and did create some quality shots for teammates as Kidd paid him a lot of attention.

    Grant and Galloway are good at basketball, and against non-elite teams their weaknesses won’t matter much.

    This is a good team.

  10. How good is that contract going to look on a $108m cap? Guy will establish himself as one of the premiere bench 4/5 combos.

    The box score is just a thing of beauty. I really don’t give a shit how many games they win if they’re sharing the ball like that every night. 24 assists on 42 FGA’s is exactly how you want to play the game.

    Milwaukee was undermanned, but we beat them by 25 on the road. That’s a a quality blowout win for anybody.

  11. A reality check. Without the Greek Freak and OJ Mayo, the Bucks looked lame. They played like they were hanging out at a club with JR Smith.

    While true, good teams take advantage of stuff like that, so it is a good sign that they were able to do so.

  12. The blowout was great, but like I said before the game, this was a winnable game. I was listening to Bill Simmons’ over/under podcast and reading Zach Lowe’s season preview and they both had convinced me that Milwaukee was way overrated. Last year, I think they made the playoffs more due to the rest of the East being so shitty. This is not a deep team at all and they shoot like shit. They’re young, but I am not all that impressed with them. It’s still super impressive to blow them out in their own building. This is an entirely different point than that. I’m just talking about the Bucks in general. It takes nothing away from the awesome win. The win was amazing. I’m just saying that I am not a believer in this Bucks team at all.

  13. The Bucks team may not be all that great with everyone out, but that’s a Bucks team we lose to last year regardless.

    And for anyone complaining about Melo’s minutes, 29 minutes is practically a night off for Melo.

  14. Melo played 29 minutes or less a total of 7 times last season. And a total of 4 times the season before.

  15. And for anyone complaining about Melo’s minutes, 29 minutes is practically a night off for Melo.

    But there was no reason it shouldn’t have been 24 minutes. It was a blowout on the first night of a back-to-back and he was still in there in the fourth quarter with five minutes left. But yes, it is true that anything under 30 minutes is kind of impressive for Melo.

  16. Instead of making excuses for The Bucks or worrying about DEill’s future contract can’t we just enjoy the fact that the K Ickes blew out a team on the road for their opening game in a game where Melo didn’t even play that well?

  17. I think Kidd did the smart thing — he bet on the idea that the Knicks couldn’t win without Melo’s scoring. And really, that part of his strategy worked. The starters were all around 0 in terms of +/-. It was, predictably, the bench that won this game for the Knicks, and most of it was transition and semi-transition baskets. Derrick Williams looked like a young Gerald Wallace (on offense) out there — just ahead of the action on every turnover and a lot of Buck misses as well and attacking the rim.

    Then you had O’Quinn making great outlet passes and Grant pushing the ball hard… The Bucks just couldn’t keep up. Antetokounpo’s speed and defense would have helped. Not sure if it would have been the difference though.

  18. I think, though, that that’s the hidden weakness of this Bucks team. They’re supposedly this super fast team, but tonight’s lineup only had a couple of guys who could keep up with the Knicks’ speed. Monroe played great, but he also plays at a whole other speed than the rest of the team. Henson, similarly, is not going to run. And they got rid of two guys in Pachulia and Dudley, who could run. Their offseason was weird.

  19. The Knicks will win 43 games this year. I truly believe that. Watching Derrick Williams tonight, you could see what made him the 2nd pick in the draft. There is nothing he can’t do on the basketball court and he’s just a superior athlete. If Derrick Williams figures the game out this season, he’ll win Most Improved Player and the Knicks could get an extra 6 or so wins from him that nobody saw coming. Kyle O’Quinn looks like our best big man and that’s awesome. He’s like post championship KG in that he’s not an athletic marvel but he can hit the 21 footer and he’ll intimidate while grabbing boards and setting the tone for the defense.

    I remember there being an argument about whether Galloway was/would be better than Shumpert on this website. I can tell you one thing; Galloway was a better college player and seems to work harder. The commentators were saying he arrived by himself four hours early to get shots up. Iman Shumpert never would have done that. I think he’s starting to prove PJax right for being so high on him from the beginning.

    How ironic would it be if our best three players not named Melo for the season didn’t start a combined 40 games for us? I could see Galloway, O’Quinn, and D Will outperforming all of our starters over the course of the season. We’ll see how good they are against the 60 win Hawks tomorrow, though.

  20. That’s not true Iman did workout very hard before games. He would arrive early to lift weights before games. Like for real Iman and you wonder why your shots are off. smh.

  21. I believed early on that Williams in this environment and this style of play would exceed his first few years, but wow. Right now he’s our second best scorer.
    Since Melo came to NY if he didn’t score the Knicks rarely won. Look at the scoring across the box score.
    And back to backs will be far less daunting when you can run 12-13 guys out there with production.
    Melo played 29 minutes, but they weren’t 29 minutes of him having to do everything. He was off, but he boarded and got some good assists. A smart game.
    Portingis, like Durant, has a frame that shows fouls. He’s going to put up a lot of FTs this season.
    One can easily see a Grant Galloway back court emerging as starters.
    Props to Phil. He’s seen Galloway this way from the outset., as indicated in Phil files.
    I am irrationally excited right now. Not because they will be world beaters, but because this is a team I can give a damn about.

  22. Great win.
    I was really impressed with a lot of the players last night, but special shout out to Grant, Vujacic (mostly because I was expecting total awfulness from him), Melo, and Porzingis.

    I was watching some recap stuff on Mudiay, who was undeniably impressive (TOs notwithstanding). But you know what? Jerian Grant is freaking good. He just understands where people are around him, can get into the lane, and find people OR finish. If he can be a league average 3 point shooter, he’s going to be really good. And just think – THJ was, I believe, a healthy scratch the other night. Time will tell, but that looks like a ridiculously one-sided trade right now.

    Vujacic – 11 points on 6 shots, 4 steals, 6 rebounds, 3 assists in 29 minutes. Zero TOs. nuff said.

    Melo – his shot obviously wasn’t falling, and he did have some of those SMH contested midrange jumpers that make you want to tear your hair out. But I will take 7.5 reb and 6.2 assists per 36 from him any day of the week, especially when he looked to be trying hard to play within the offense for the most part. And he was not noticeably bad on D other than maybe a couple plays.

    Porzingis – dudes. This guy. In general it felt like he had no idea what was going on on offense, but he is so obviously a mismatch at the 4 offesnively, especially in this league where everyone is going small. Chris Copeland (or similarly sized guys) guarding him look like kids. Seriously, I kept wondering why they were guarding him with a 2, then would look up and it’s the Bucks’ PF. If he adds a post move or 3, he is going to be a LOAD. And on defense? He just swallows up offensive players at the rim. And his feet are quick enough (and his wingspan long enough) that I don’t think guys are going to have such an easy time taking him off the dribble.

    Last thought – our 4 main guards last night (JC, SV, JG, LG)-
    96 minutes, 12 assists, ONE turnover, 7 steals.

  23. I could see Galloway, O’Quinn, and D Will outperforming all of our starters over the course of the season.

    Take it one step further. The entire 2nd team is impressive. Grant was such a good facilitator last night and Lance Thomas is trying to prove us all wrong about him. He was 5-5 from the field, 3-3 from the line and +20 in 20 minutes. You just had to love watching the ball swing around the arc.

  24. Lance Thomas is terrible

    I prefer watching Cleanthony Early in that role but there’s no arguing that Thomas had a good night and that the second unit will be a handful for most teams to deal with. They are fast, physical and played under control.

  25. He’s terrible, but his first two seasons for NO he was a below average but above replacement level player. Let’s hope for that, if Fisher is actually still going to play him when our injured players come back.

  26. Best thing about that prolonged hallucination I had last night was the offense. It was fast and fluid and confident in what it was doing. 122 points on a night when Anthony couldn’t throw it in the ocean? Not real. Or was it?

    I don’t understand who this Derrick Williams person is really. Whoever he is, he’s exceedingly fast and large and can leap and finish better than the other large fast leaping people in the building. Right? He just ran past or jumped over anyone anytime from anywhere. He was unrelenting and nasty. It’s mysterious and intriguing. His jumper might or might not turn out to be real, but that driving and finishing and putback thing seems very true.

    The next best thing was the minutes distribution. Anytime O’Quinn, Galloway, and Grant are on the floor together, I’m just happy. I can’t help it.

    The only scary things were Sashay kinda killing it for 29 min and Lance going 5 for 5: both are noisy signals with the potential to lead Phisher astray.

  27. I think, though, that that’s the hidden weakness of this Bucks team. They’re supposedly this super fast team, but tonight’s lineup only had a couple of guys who could keep up with the Knicks’ speed. Monroe played great, but he also plays at a whole other speed than the rest of the team. Henson, similarly, is not going to run. And they got rid of two guys in Pachulia and Dudley, who could run. Their offseason was weird.

    Yeah, I get that criticism. But I don’t think Copeland is a rotation player when everyone’s healthy. The Bucks though were awful offensively last year, and that was starting Pachulia, who yeah, he’s a little more of a quick hit type of offensive player compared to Monroe, but he’s not a stallion nor is he a defensive stalwart. I think the idea is run the offense through Monroe and hope that guys hit threes — hopefully that picks the offense up a bit, and the defense remains the same.

    I could see problems though, especially since Parker could end up being a burden as he works himself back.

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