Quick Recap: Knicks vs. Bucks

Knicks start slowly. Knicks turn on the jets. Knicks lead by many many points.

Knicks open 4th quarter slowly. Bucks rally back from down big. Knicks turn on jets. Bucks lose.

Aside from the stretches to open the game, and then the 4th quarter, the Knicks continued to play beautiful, picturesque basketball. It’s the same sort of basketball that helped them beat the Pistons, contest the Bulls, double up on wins against the Hawks, smack the Heat, and nearly edge the Spurs in San Antonio. Brushing up on the game against the top clubs in the league is the recipe for blowing out the lower tier of clubs, which is what a really excellent club will do. The Knicks are looking a lot like a really excellent club lately. Maybe they are a really excellent club. That would be nice.

Melo continues to be an energy vortex with spiraling arms of universe birthing. I don’t know exactly what that means, but he’s great. He does a little bit of everything to help the team win. What a breath of fresh air. He’s noted that he’s feeding off his teammates willingness to play defense and share the ball. If that’s the new Melo, whoosh….the league is in some trouble. Porzingis and Lopez played STIFLING interior defense. They’ve been taking away the shots in close for weeks now, but against a team like the Bucks, who don’t really shoot the ball well from distance, that’s flying guillotine stuff. Off with their heads.

Hey Milwaukee….go back to your custard stand. We gon’ run this town tonight.

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27 thoughts to “Quick Recap: Knicks vs. Bucks”

  1. A win on Tuesday ties us with Boston for 9th, and Orlando’s (currently sitting 8th) next two games are against Toronto and Atlanta. We could be sniffing the 7th seed by the end of the week. Not likely, but it’s possible.

  2. It really is amazing the havoc Lopez and Porzingis are creating. We have come a long way from the Eddy Curry-David Lee defensive combo.

  3. On what teams would Lopez be a clear upgrade at starting center?

    Across the entire league, I see Philly and New Orleans

  4. It was nice to watch a game where the outcome wasn’t in doubt at all after the first quarter. And Porzingis was incredible.

  5. My daughter watched the begining of the game with me and goes ” Milwakee is not as good at basketball as Kristaps Porzingis” … she is four…. and correct in all counts

  6. Milwaukee’s fall from grace is pretty remarkable. They were a solid playoff-level team last year without Jabari Parker and Greg Monroe!

  7. In terms of playoffs, I’d much rather see whoever is the 2nd seed than the Cavaliers. The Knicks are 1.5 out of 8th and 3 out of 7th, but I think we’re trending upwards and the team we’re seeing now isn’t the function of one guy’s hot shooting. We move the ball well and play as a team, so I’d expect these Knicks to show up the rest of the way. The Knicks need to go 24-19 the rest of the way to hit 43 wins on the season. I think it’s possible.

  8. First time that a Knicks game turned into an AND1 Mixtape tour and it wasnt because of their opponents busting out with the sick plays but rather the Knicks with all the highlight reel plays.

    Would be really awesome to win the next 2 games and be over .500 at the halfway point. Not something we couldve dreamed about just a week ago.

  9. The other nice thing about tonight is that we won easily on a night when everything didn’t go right. Afflalo and Grant, who are half the backcourt shot 5-20 and didn’t do much else, and it didn’t really matter at all.

  10. I couldn’t have asked for more from this season. I really thought four below .500 was gonna become 5 and then 6…but, hey, good teams win and this is what’s been happening. If there’s one thing being a Knick fan teaches you it’s that winning an NBA game is fucking hard. Like, for years, the other team’s star player was always better than ours, their young players were always more athletic, and their role players would go off against us. Teams would catch confidence like a cold when they came in. They just knew they were better and played like it. Now we’re the team with those advantages and I think we’re going to be more reliably acquiring w’s.

    I was watching an Aussie Open tune up match between Federer and Dimitrov the other day and it was clear who the dominant player was. I think basketball is a lot like tennis that way. In baseball any team can win on any given night. Football can be similar with all the moving parts. In basketball it seems like the better team on paper is usually the better team on the court and for once it looks like we are that.

    I thought at the beginning of the season that we’d improve by ten games just with Melo back and no draft pick to tank for. I thought we could add more victories depending on the development of KP6. I don’t think anyone thought he or the role players would be this good, or that Melo would start to become what we’re seeing. Don’t look now but the Knicks are becoming one of the better teams in the league.

  11. Some of the more astute Bucks fans are convinced that losing Zaza Pachulia and Jared Dudley destroyed their defense. The conventional wisdom is this: Zaza is not the world’s most talented guy but he is a very astute, high-IQ positional defender whose value is not captured in the box score. Some of their fans are losing patience with Monroe and see him as a major downgrade from Zaza on the defensive end. The Bucks gave away Jared Dudley for almost nothing, and that trade is haunting them. Dudley was by all accounts a key 3-and-D glue guy for them, and his minutes have mostly gone to Jabari Parker, who is a total non-entity on defense. They moved Dudley because he was going to be having surgery and possibly missing some time, but he is playing 28 MPG for the Wizards and is having pretty much a standard Jared Dudley season. Meanwhile in tonight’s game the Bucks gave 45 minutes to sub-replacement level players in Rashad Vaughn and Tyler Ennis.

  12. “Maybe they are a really excellent club. That would be nice.”

    This! They just might be. Based on recent results, I think keeping Rolo looks like a good idea. That whole “we need to trade the disappointing Rolo” narrative might have been premature.

    Melo is doing a little bit of everything and making everyone around him better…..finally!

  13. The last bad game the Knicks played was that game against the Bulls. Kevin Seraphin and Kyle O’Quinn played a combined 23 minutes in that game, and Jerian Grant only played garbage time minutes. After that game Fisher famously called out the team for its shitty play.

    The next game, he went to the current nine-man rotation, cutting Seraphin and O’Quinn out, and started going with more small-ball looks and giving Jerian Grant more minutes. The nine-man rotation also ensured that there would be at least one starter on the floor at all times.

    Presto. Different team since then.

  14. I guess I’m a little chastened on my anti triangle narrative, happily. Good job Lavor Postell. I think the effectiveness of the system and the value of Robin Lopez are where a lot of people have been wrong this season.

    There are plenty of other surprises as well. I appreciate the comparisons of Melo’s recent play to Draymond Green. He’s changed and that should be acknowledged, and Lance Thomas, making the “you are who you are” crowd eat shit. Yes folks, on a good team everyone has career years at the same time. Sometimes people do outplay their bubble gum card.

    I think, what I’m realizing, to my utter, complete, and unfathomable joy is that this might actually sustain itself.

  15. Great game last night. Was a little nervous in the 1st quarter but man — talk about the better team just pulling away.

    Interesting NBA.com January stats for Melo–

    in 37.5 minutes/game –> 20.5 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists. That’s not the interesting part, although obviously the assists are nice, and his AST/TO ratio is a healthy 4.3. The interesting part is a USG% of 23.7 which I would guess is by far his lowest for any 6 game stretch in his career. His efficiency has been good not great (TS 56.3) but that seems to be mostly on the basis of totally uncharacteristically poor 3 point shooting when open or wide open (25% on open, 20% on wide open). If he even shot close to his career average on those, his TS would be north of 60.

    More- 34% of his shots have come in the restricted area in January – compared with 26.4% for the season, (23.5% and 21.2% in each of the previous 2 seasons). Taking the ball to the BASKET.

    Obviously a small sample, but also against 5 teams with a combined record of 114-73 with 4 of those games on the road — and 5 of the 6 games against teams with defenses in the top 12 in the league (SA-1, MIA-6, ATL-12, CHI-5, MIL-29 yikes).

    Porzingis man– that sequence last night with the putback slam followed by the block on the other end — this guy is unreal. He’s been shooting about 36.5% from 3 over the last 2 months and is likely to get much better from there. 87% from the line. And he has basically no idea how to to get efficient non-3 point/non-putback baskets in the NBA yet. And he’s 20. And he’s OURS.

  16. I read elsewhere someone’s opinion that Monroe was “dominant” last night. Huh? He is a gifted scorer, I’ll give him that, but he’s a total non-entity on defense.

    In the off-season I was really hoping that the Knicks would get him, but now I’m very happy that they got Lopez instead.

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