The Knicks face a actuality verify in a lopsided loss to the Bucks
Milwaukee, Wis. — Take into account Friday evening a poignant reminder and a sequence of back-to-reality moments for the Knicks.
They are often improved. They might be significantly higher than the 37-win outfit from final season. However they are not in the identical stratosphere as title-contending Bucks.
Even with out key gamers Joe Ingles, Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, performed with the Knicks for 2 quarters after which ran them off the court docket within the third.
Antetokounmpo received Mitchell Robinson into foul hassle and dominated the opposite Knicks. Jrue Vacation placed on a 3rd quarter present. The Knicks’ massive three of Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle could not get the ball rolling when it mattered. The outcome was a lopsided 119–108 loss at Fissure Discussion board that uncovered most of the Knicks’ flaws.
“In the long run, we had extra urgency and did a greater job, however it’s a must to play 48 minutes towards these guys,” coach Tom Thibodeau stated. “I did not assume we did it.”
The Knicks trailed by simply six factors halfway by way of the third quarter, when the undefeated Bucks (4-0) lastly put the hammer down. In a stunning span of two:34, Milwaukee went on a livid 18-0 run that included three 3-pointers and eight factors from Antetokounmpo. The Knicks (3-2) trailed by 11 after three quarters, and by no means received nearer than 9 within the remaining 12 minutes as they fell to 0-2.
“They had been flying round, speaking,” Derrick Rose stated of the field. “If you’re enjoying a protection like that, it is form of robust and it is form of intimidating once you’re enjoying towards a protection like that, when everyone’s on the identical web page. You may inform they had been on a mission and we got here off a bit sluggish at first.”
In contrast to their first sport away from the Backyard, an extra time loss to the Grizzlies, the Knicks had been considerably outplayed this time. They had been crushed on the glass, permitting 19 offensive rebounds and their stars had been largely a no-show.
Antetokounmpo compiled 9 assists, greater than Brunson, Randle and Barrett mixed (six) and the Bucks famous person scored 30 factors, greater than Randle and Brunson mixed (27). Essentially the most memorable second from the Knicks’ trio was Brunson’s half-court shot on the first-half horn — and it did not even rely. The Knicks’ offense, so environment friendly and free-flowing within the first 4 video games, was locked down by Milwaukee’s stellar protection, held to 40.2 p.c capturing.
“They saved baiting us into capturing these floaters and mid-range photographs [jumpers],” stated Evan Fournier, who scored 11 factors on 4-for-12 capturing. “Fairly often we did, however the clock was too early. Why rush if in case you have a five-second offense shot? … I assumed we hustled, so they may run.”
Antetokounmpo, the two-time MVP, additionally had 14 rebounds, whereas former Knick Bobby Portis added 12 factors and 12 rebounds for the Bucks.
Barrett led the Knicks with 20 factors, however his 3-point capturing woes continued right into a 1-for-7 evening that dropped him to 4-for-28 from distance this season. Brunson factors (13) and assists (two) and Randle had dedicated as many turnovers (three) as discipline targets (three) in 31 minutes with little impact.
Though the deficit was solely six at halftime, the Knicks saved going. The Bucks shot 5-for-19 from deep in that opening half, however that modified of their haymaker on an 18-0 run within the third quarter. The Knicks tried to counterpunch, however solely delayed the inevitable.
“It is about studying,” Fournier stated. “That is it [first game] We did not do effectively, particularly offensively.”
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