Preview: Milwaukee Bucks (2-3) at New York Knicks (2-3)
Time: Friday 6:30 P.M. CST
Venue: Madison Square Garden
Where To Watch: TV – FS Wisconsin, Radio – AM-620
Glorious revenge is what the Bucks are looking for as they look to get their third win in a row in a rematch against the New York Knicks Friday. The Knicks beat the Bucks in the season opener but that was without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker.
Probable Knicks Starters
G Jose Calderon, 6-3, Spain
G Sasha Vujacic, 6-7, Slovenia
F Carmelo Anthony, 6-8, Syracuse
F Kristaps Porzingis, 7-3, Latvia
C Robin Lopez, 7-0, Stanford
What We Need To Know About The Knicks
After beating the Bucks in the season opener, the Knicks only managed to win one of their last four games. One thing is certain and that is the instant playmaking and scoring ability of superstar forward Carmelo Anthony who is averaging 22 points a game so far this season, even though he only scored 11 against the Bucks. Another Knicks’ playmaking option is rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis who has 12 points a game and 7 rebounds so far this season; he also had this career high of points against the Bucks with 16. Lastly is the unpredictable bench of New York in which Derrick Williams’ athleticism, Langston Galloway’s barrage of threes and Kyle O’Quinn’s big men presence all were probably the biggest reason the Knicks beat the Bucks in game one as the bench combined for 73 points.
Probable Bucks Starters
G Tyler Ennis, 6-3, Syracuse
G Khris Middleton, 6-8, Texas A&M
F Giannis Antetokounmpo, 6-11, Greece
F Jabari Parker, 6-8, Duke
C Greg Monroe, 6-11, Georgetown
What We Need To Know About The Bucks
With Michael Carter-Williams still out, the Bucks will turn to second year guard Tyler Ennis who had a solid outing off the bench in his return from injury Wednesday. Also for a big boost in size and the bench John Henson will make his season debut returning from injury. The Bucks are looking to extend their win streak to three and get to .500 at 3-3, so this game has big implications for the team along with playing under the lights at the world’s most famous arena Madison Square Garden.
At the forward position with the Knicks best playmakers Anthony and Porzingis facing the likely cycle of Giannis, Parker, and Henson. Anthony didn’t do much against the Bucks in their last meeting and that was without him facing the three players mentioned before, but Porzingis and Derrick Williams did, and that was key to the Knicks’ victory. How will Giannis and Jabari matchup with Anthony and Porzingis at the Garden and how will Henson contribute support when Parker has to sit out? The other key matchup the bench, as the Bucks had no answer to the Knicks’ bench in the season opener. With Vasquez getting hot, and the additions of Bayless and Henson to the bench this should change; scoring shouldn’t be an issue like the opener, but an away game can be unpredictable to any NBA bench.
Bucks’ Keys To Victory
Obviously it will the how the Bucks can contain superstar playmaker Carmelo Anthony, because he can easily drop 40 points any game. He’s been shooting better in recent games and he’s playing at home which can be dangerous to the Bucks. Another key as mentioned in the matchups is the bench, both on offense and defense. The Bucks can’t allow Derrick Williams to get 24 points again or Langston Galloway to hit wide open threes. Offensively Vasquez, Bayless and Henson need solid scoring outings in their respected position matchups to not give the Knicks a chance to be in the game. The season opener also saw the Bucks get dominated in the rebound category with Porzingis, O’Quinn and Williams controlling the boards. With Giannis and Henson playing this should also change as the Bucks clearly now have the size to match up against those players. Lastly the Bucks need to limit the fouls they commit during the game, as it seemed like the Knicks shot free throws on every other possession during the opener and they were able to pull away from the Bucks because of that. The Bucks cannot go over the foul limit early in the quarters.
The Bucks are very capable of winning against the Knicks mostly because they have back many big name players who didn’t play in the opener. It will be interesting to see how the Bucks can perform on the grand stage of Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City.