The New York Knicks stunned the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day with a 129-122 victory at the Madison Square Garden. The Knicks had control of the ballgame for pretty much the entire 48 minutes, which isn’t exactly what most fans were expecting — especially considering the fact that New York entered this game with a nine-game losing streak against the Bucks.
Stephen A. Smith Rips Milwaukee Bucks
Stephen A. Smith was part of ESPN’s NBA Countdown crew that provided coverage for the highly-anticipated Christmas Day matchup. The Knicks held a 62-51 lead at the half, which prompted a pretty savage take from the renowned broadcaster.
According to Stephen A, Milwaukee’s lack of defense is what’s going to lead to their downfall:
“That is what’s going to hurt Adrian Griffin in his first year,” Smith said. “Budenholzer was a damn good coach. When you see the defensive lapses of the Milwaukee Bucks, that alarms you because there’s no way in hell they can win the big picture if they don’t play defense.”
It’s no secret that the Bucks have championship aspirations this season. The fact that they went all in on Damian Lillard this summer is a clear testament to this notion.
By doing so, however, Milwaukee had to part ways with five-time All-Defense guard Jrue Holiday. He was a key cog on defense for the Bucks, and his departure has left a significant void in the backcourt. Lillard is one of the deadliest scorers this game has ever seen, but there’s no denying that he has his shortcomings defensively.
Stephen A does not believe the Bucks are capable of winning a championship this season unless they improve on their defense significantly. Monday’s loss to the Knicks seems to support Smith’s bold take.
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