For the last month, each NBA franchise was put into groups of five at random and played games against the other teams in their group to determine playoff seeding. The Bucks dominated pool-play, going undefeated in “Group B” while obtaining the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee now advances to the knockout stage of the In-Season Tournament, where Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks will travel to Fiserv Forum in a Quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday Night. The Knicks, who have won four of their last five games, sit at fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 12-7 record and look to keep their hot streak going.
Jalen Brunson Dropped 45 Points in Previous Matchup versus the Milwaukee Bucks
New York has not been an easy matchup for Milwaukee this season. The last game between these two dates back to early November, where the Bucks scraped out a win with a score of 110-105. It was a close game from start to finish and dominated by the All-Star guards on both teams. Damian Lillard had 30 points for the Bucks while shooting 4-7 from behind the arc.
Jalen Brunson exploded for 45 points, shooting 17-30 from the field for the Knicks. Brunson was getting any shot he wanted in the first matchup, even if they weren’t falling. If the Bucks want to advance to the Semi-Finals and take the trip to Las Vegas, it starts with containing Brunson. Milwaukee gives up over 25 points a game to the point guard position. So, this will be a difficult task for the Bucks to handle.
The Knicks also rebound the ball efficiently. New York outrebounded Milwaukee by 15 back in early November, grabbing 16 offensive rebounds in the process. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez and the Bucks big men need to box out Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle more this go-around, who combined for 10 of those offensive rebounds in the previous matchup.
Pat Connaughton Ruled Out for Tuesday Night’s Quarterfinal
Bucks injuries Tues vs Knicks:
Pat Connaughton (ankle sprain)
Jae Crowder (adductor surgery)
Andre Jackson Jr (back spasms) pic.twitter.com/qVw9sY0j2Y
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) December 4, 2023
Players on Tuesday night’s injury report for Milwaukee include Pat Connaughton (ankle), Jae Crowder (adductor) and Andre Jackson Jr (back). Both Connaughton and Crowder have been ruled out for tonight’s contest, while Jackson is listed as questionable.
Connaughton left last Tuesday’s In-Season Tournament win versus Miami, spraining his right ankle in the third quarter. He finished the contest with 7 points, shooting 3-5 from the field in 15 minutes of action. Connaughton has missed the last 2 games versus the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks due to the injury. Head Coach Adrian Griffin said Monday he does not expect Connaughton to play for the rest of the week. So, this report does not come as a surprise.
Andre Jackson Jr sat out of last game versus the Atlanta Hawks due to back spasms, but has a chance to suit up Tuesday versus New York. If Jackson does play, he along with Cameron Payne and MarJon Beauchamp will look for extended minutes due to Connaughton’s absence.
Coverage for Tuesday night’s In-Season Tournament Quarterfinal will take place at 7:30 PM Eastern Time on TNT. The winner will advance to the Semi-Finals in Las Vegas, where they will take on the winner of the Indiana Pacers versus the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content