Game Thread: Knicks vs. Bucks

Way back in 2008, the New Jersey Nets traded Richard Jefferson to the Bucks for the draft rights to Yi Jianlian. Not sure that trade worked out for either club, but that’s usually the case in these situations anyway. There aren’t too many “Vlade Divac for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant” deals in the history of the league. The biggest thing to come out of that trade was a mean-spirited, but hilarious, blog from Gilbert Arenas dissing Milwaukee and laughing at Richard Jefferson’s misfortune. The NBA has long since scrubbed that “Agent Zero” writing from its website, but the rapid reaction from Milwaukee writers remains. Here’s an excerpt from the exiled Agent Zero:

“Richard Jefferson going to Milwaukee …. HAHAHA! Oh man, now that is funny. When I heard that, I started laughing. Oh man, did I start laughing. You know why? Because every player hates Milwaukee. Nobody wants to live in Milwaukee. I’m sorry, Milwaukee, to come down hard on you, but no one in the NBA wants to play in Milwaukee. From him going from New Jersey, actually from New York (because he lives in New York), from New York to Milwaukee is like going … let’s just say it’s not going to sit well with you. That was a funny one when I heard that one. I know Yi is happy though.”

Now, I have to confess that I thought it was all very funny at the time. I also have to confess that I may have even written something on the Interwebs in support of Arenas’ opinion of the situation, noting that the CitySearch list of “Top Ten Things to See in Milwaukee” started with a Miller Brewing Tour and spend quickly downward to a custard stand listed above any of the city’s museums or sports teams. New Yorkers get the reputation of being arrogant and rude, in part, because we have New York City at our backs and use it like a huge bodyguard in starting fights we have no business being in in the first place. In sports arguments it becomes much easier to take on that level of arrogance when teams in small markets, like Milwaukee, are poorly managed and dismal for years on end….even when your own metropolis’ team is one of the saddest in the league. There’s still New York.

Whatever you think of that bad attitude, and however frequently you’ve behaved in that manner, there’s a twist in the story today. Not so many years later, the Bucks organization has figured something out. They’re no longer so poorly managed. They have some of the coolest uniforms and branding in the league. They have a player who could turn into a franchise talent in a heartbeat, with an exciting style of play and unlimited upside. There are still some holes and head-scratching personnel decisions, but the Bucks 2016 are not the Bucks 2008. They have work to do, but they’ve come pretty far on and off the court. Last season the Bucks were one of the surprise teams in the league. They moved from bottom of the NBA heap to the playoffs with an enormous leap. In fact, they made the kind of leap that the Knicks are hopeful of making this year.

This season, the Bucks have stumbled a bit. Their addition of Greg Monroe was seen as a victory for the small market club, perhaps even as a thumb in the eye of the big city Knickerbockers, who apparently had interest in the former Detroit big man. I don’t buy that narrative, but it’s out there. Monroe and Robin Lopez have battled several times this season as the Knicks have played 3 games against the Bucks already. Monroe has razzled and dazzled the Knicks on 2 of the 3 occasions, while Lopez has been pedestrian, at best. Lopez has been much better of late, however, and more assertive on offense, and the team is benefitting a great deal from his hooking and cooking. The Bucks have slid a bit from their .500 finish in 2014-15, winning 2 or 3 games and then losing 2 or 3. The Knicks have followed a similar pattern this season, streaking positively and negatively to a near .500 record. The Bucks are coming off a tough fought, one point victory against the Mavericks, while the Knicks just completed a very impressive run against the league’s best teams. On the whole, I would say the Knicks are playing at a different level than the Bucks at the moment, but that’s only as good a the game in front of you. The Bucks give the Knicks trouble, particularly as they fight to guard guys like Michael Carter Williams, and they’ll have to figure out how to extend their efficient play on both ends.

These Bucks are better than a custard stand. Are the Knicks better than Papaya King hot dogs? We’ll have to see….

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99 thoughts to “Game Thread: Knicks vs. Bucks”

  1. My knowledge of Milwaukee is limited to the Bucks, Brewers and that one scene in Wayne’s World where they see Alice Cooper. I’ll have to take your word on the custard stand.

  2. The Milwaukee Bucks stink. They don’t rebound, they’re sloppy with the ball, they foul all the time and they generally play a craptastic brand of low-IQ basketball. They also have no depth– with Jerry Bayless banged up their bench is basically John Henson, OJ Mayo (who has stunk to high heaven all year), and Rashad Vaughn, who is possibly the worst rookie to play over 100 minutes this season. If you like guards that shoot .278 from the floor with more turnovers than assists, Rashad Vaughn is your guy.

    I’m going to be disappointed if we don’t whoop some ass in this game.

  3. Did Lopez always have this kind of post game or did he just learn how to do it as a New Years resolution

  4. Did Lopez always have this kind of post game or did he just learn how to do it as a New Years resolution

    Maybe it’s Brook Lopez wearing a wig?

  5. Boy, I’m glad Highlightzingis finally got another one of those putbacks. I was getting tired of him missing those all the time.

  6. I have been down on the Bucks all year, so thank goodness they’re beating them soundly.

  7. I can’t believe I’m saying this but lance Thomas’ biggest problem is passing up too many threes

  8. This is extremely beautiful basketball being played by the Knicks. Really can’t ask much more than what we’re seeing from right now.

  9. This lineup with ‘Staps at the five is looking pretty sweet.

    I kind of can’t believe what I’m seeing. This is high-IQ basketball.

  10. Free Seraphin!

    Let’s not get carried away here. Last thing we need is Seraphin looking decent in garbage minutes and deceiving Fisher into reinserting him into the rotation.

  11. Gallinari actually having a pretty decent game tonight in a more competitive affair.

    But yeah, vintage Melo tonight.

  12. Beginnings episode on Charles Smith?? I assume that will be the lowest watched episode of the series lol.

  13. It’s too bad Kyle O’Quinn can’t seem to get his shit together, because the Knicks could really use somebody who can bring down a defensive rebound.

  14. Melo is playing his ass off in this game. 24 points on 10-16 shooting, 10 boards, 8 assists, 1 turnover.

  15. Melo is playing his ass off in this game. 24 points on 10-16 shooting, 10 boards, 8 assists, 1 turnover.

    I like Draymond Green Melo

  16. For one night, Melo looks worth a 24M NTC

    Please please PLEASE continue aging into this kind of player

  17. From now on every time Melo passes, the player that get the ball should shoot.

    The guy deserves a triple double.

  18. When we have a full bench unit out there, we are so bad. So glad Fisher finally figured that out…though he certainly took his sweet time coming to that conclusion.

  19. That is actually an amazing number for Jose. He was awesome tonight. He played so poorly to start the season but he is rounding into 2010 form.

    Speaking of 2010 form, Mike Miller is still in the NBA. Good game on NBAtv….

  20. A win on Tuesday ties us with Boston for the 9th spot. The playoffs are once again in the picture, which is fun.

  21. Clyde just pointed something out — KP almost never blocks the ball out of bounds (kind of like Anthony Davis). I always thought that the typical Dwight Howard block — i.e., swatting the ball into the stands and then glaring at the shooter — was an incredibly stupid play, kind of a block followed by an immediate turnover.

  22. Melo has played like this before… but the reason this is sustainable is because the triangle creates reads and passing opportunities on a consistent basis.

    The only other time Melo’s had that was with MDA when he played half of the time as point forward.

    Karl emphasizes freedom and transition… and it works well for a lot of guys, but an actual offense, especially the triangle gets the most out of Melo’s skillset.

  23. I think I said 4 games in that we would be the team that if we were the 8 seed no number one would want. I believe that more than ever.

  24. Yeah it’s not that these numbers are something we shouldn’t expect from Melo. D’Antoni once said that Melo could be a 25/8/8 guy if he wanted to, but he just couldn’t get him there. Neither could Karl. The triangle works really well for this group of guys, and I’m a believer in it. It’s giving an age 31 Melo new life as if he’s reinvented himself.

  25. Melo’s asst % was actually higher than it is now after his only camp with MDA. He’s a very good pnr player and added it to his game in basically one off-season.

    Offensive structure limits Melo’s insatiable desire to post-up on every possession.

  26. A win on Tuesday ties us with Boston for the 9th spot. The playoffs are once again in the picture, which is fun.

    Their loss was great. Charlotte’s also losing, which is also nice.

  27. Yeah but the assist% in 2011-12 under MDA was juiced imo. IIRC MDA decided that using Melo as a fucking Lebron clone point forward was the way forward and that helped Melo generate a lot more assists, while also putting him in situations that were always going to make him a lower efficiency scorer, which was why his assist rate dropped but scoring efficiency skyrocketed once they fired MDA and replaced him with Woodson.

    This is better because Melo is getting this type of assist% within the flow of the offense in his role rather than being shoehorned in to some ridiculous point forward role.

  28. Fire Fisher, scrap the Triangle, trade Rolo, trade Melo for Winslow and filler.

    Then we can start winning some games.

  29. Their loss was great. Charlotte’s also losing, which is also nice.

    And Orlando’s next two games are against Toronto and Atlanta. Though, how good could Atlanta be? They lost twice in a row to the Knicks.

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