5 Things to Know: Knicks Host Bucks in First Meeting of the Season
7:30 PM EST | Madison Square Garden
TV: MSG Network
Radio: ESPN NY 98.7 FM
5 Things To Know:
1. Orlando evened the season series against the Knicks on Monday night behind a 115-103 road win that sent New York to the loss column for the fifth straight game. The Knicks allowed the Magic to connect on 15-of-31 3-pointers in a loss that dropped the orange and blue to 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings. New York’s 11-6 home mark is still one of the top records in the NBA and the squad will attempt to take advantage of an opportunity at MSG before hitting the road on Thursday.
2. On Monday night, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, and Kyle O’Quinn returned to the lineup. However, Kristaps Porzingis did not join the team as he deals with a sore left Achilles. At Tuesday’s practice, head coach Jeff Hornacek confirmed Porzingis did not participate and is questionable for Wednesday’s contest against the Bucks. In Monday’s game, Hornacek started veteran forward Lance Thomas in Porzingis’ place and mainly relied on O’Quinn and Willy Hernangomez off the bench.
3. A jarring halt to the Bucks upward trek in the Eastern Conference was felt last year during an eight-game regression. Milwaukee attempted to improve the roster through the draft by selecting Thon Maker in a somewhat surprising move at No. 10 overall. In free agency, the Bucks acquired Mirza Teletovic and Matthew Dellavedova from the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Additionally, Milwaukee traded Michael Carter-Williams to Chicago in exchange for Tony Snell in an offseason shake-up. The Snell deal helped the Bucks offset the loss of Khris Middleoton, who was lost shortly before training camp due to a torn left hamstring.
4. Milwaukee held off Russell Westbrook and the Thunder on Tuesday night in a 98-94 win. Giannis Antetokounmpo once again put together a spectacular stat line with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in 41 minutes of action. Dellavedova missed his third consecutive game with a right hamstring injury, which led to Jason Kidd starting Malcolm Brogdon in his place next to Snell, Jabari Parker, Antetokounmpo, and John Henson.
5. The Bucks have won two consecutive games, six of their last 10, and now in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. At 17-16, Milwaukee is 6-9 on the road and 11-7 at home this season. The Bucks are one of the top teams in net rating, ranking No. 8 overall with top ten marks in offensive and defensive ratings. Despite featuring an unconventional backcourt, Kidd’s group is No. 3 in assist/turnover ratio. Antetokounmpo is the key cog in Milwaukee’s versatile attack as the 21-year old is averaging career-highs across the board and considered an All-Star starter candidate. The combination of Antetokounmpo and Parker has proven to be lethal. Parker is averaging 20.5 points on nearly 50 percent shooting from the floor and 39 percent behind the arc.