The 14-5 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 10-11 New York Knicks Wednesday Night in New York City. This is the second time this season these teams have played- the Bucks won the first match-up 119-108.
The Knicks have been below average at home with a 4-5 record. However, they have gotten consistent point guard play from Jalen Brunson. Milwaukee should be able to exploit some weak interior play from New York. (10th in team defensive rebounding, 14th in team block shots)
The schedule makers continue to be kind to the Bucks. The Knicks are coming off a back-to-back last night in Detroit where they really hammered the Pistons 140-110. The Bucks last played Sunday night against Dallas at home, winning a game where the returning Western Conference finalist Mavericks simply ran out of gas. That could happen again as the Knicks shot 57% from the field and 46% from behind the arc in Detroit. Of course it also depends on who plays.
Vegas has the Bucks at a 60% chance to win the game against the Knicks and 5 point favorites. This is a game the Bucks should win. A win will help them continue to establish dominance in the East.
Keys for the Bucks
Run run run! Because the Pistons should be tired, Milwaukee needs to push the tempo and be aggressive. It is simply the nature of the NBA regular season “back-to-back”.
The Bucks are coming in refreshed and rested. That means they need to be aggressive and dictate terms. Giannis needs to push the ball and keep moving downhill. And after the kind, generous comments from fellow MVP candidate Luka Doncic, who can stop him?
Strong guard play. Jrue Holiday and Jevon Carter have also done a masterful job of pushing the tempo. Holiday is also well known as a strong defender. Can those two help cool down a hot Jalen Brunson? If that can that bodes well for the Bucks.
The Opponent- The Knicks
The Knicks have some good players. RJ Barrett has turned out to be a good draft and develop guy for them in his 3rd season, averaging 18/5/4. The aforementioned Jalen Brunson has given the Knicks something they have needed for a long time: a point guard. (Does no one see the connection between Brunson leaving and the Mavs’ struggles?)
In terms of their season if Cam Reddish or Obi Toppin gives New York a boost, that has been huge for them. Those two guys are simply young. As they get better, so goes the Knicks.
We got some flak from the last preview for calling Mark Cuban “the Jerry Jones” of the NBA. Well Knicks owner James Dolan isn’t far from that either. I want you to finish up this article but going down that “wikipedia rabbit hole” is worth the time.
Things to tell your buddies while you are watching the game
- New York City is the largest city in the US with 8.9 million people. Over 58 million people live within 250 miles of New York City. By comparison, Milwaukee has about 570,000 people. Tonight you can root for the underdog. (And arguably the better franchise.)
- Should Matt LaFleur be the coach and GM of the Packers? Should Mike Budenholzer? Budenholzer once was the coach and GM of the Atlanta Hawks, making every roster decision. The same goes for Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota. Neither is the current GM of their new teams. In fact, Budenholzer and the Hawks won fewer games in every year he was both the GM and coach, going from 60 wins down to 48, down to 43, down to 24. I guess the moral of the story there is to let other people at work do their jobs.
- Many game previews are now being written by Data Skrive, this wonky computer program that does a terrible job. Keep tuning in here to Wi Sports Heroics for information from an ACTUAL human who is trying to preview an ACTUAL game. What is this world now anyways, Wall-E?!
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