Life support: Knicks 111 – Bucks 107
|Carlos Delfino, SF 22 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -17
If there’s one thing Delfino has always done well as a Buck, it’s get inside Carmelo Anthony’s head. For whatever reason, the Knicks star doesn’t seem to like Milwaukee’s role playing forward. As he often has done, he drew a tech on Anthony in the fourth. Unfortunately, he was getting lit up by Anthony before that and failed to make any impact on offense. And Milwaukee missed the free throw. So that’s a bummer.
|Ersan Ilyasova, PF 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -3
Coach Skiles said he thought Ilyasova looked really anxious. He threw away an easy pass across the court and had some foul trouble early. This isn’t a great match up for him. Does he play center and deal with Chandler? Or the power forward and guard ‘Melo? Tough spot.
|Drew Gooden, PF 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -5
Gooden played just five minutes, largely due to an injured back that’s left him looking kind of like a shell of his former self.
|Monta Ellis, SG 41 MIN | 14-25 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 10 AST | 35 PTS | -8
The game of Ellis’ Bucks career for sure. He passed well out of the pick and roll, shot well on his spot up threes and finished on his drives to the hoops. His mid-range jumper was going down too. Defensively some of his gambles paid off, but he was beat on some really simple drives at times and on J.R. Smith’s eventual game winning three, he went so far over the top that no one could recover out on Smith (H/T @DrewOlsonMKE). But he carried the Bucks through the first half, so there’s that.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 41 MIN | 10-20 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 22 PTS | -13
He and Ellis both played very well and made some big shots, timely shots. But on the Bucks final worthwhile possession, down three with nine seconds left, he let fire on a broken play. The look wasn’t great – a 3-pointer over Tyson Chandler’s seven-foot arm. Ellis didn’t seem thrilled about what happend, but Milwaukee needed to do something. If Jennings could have worked to get it back to Ellis somehow we don’t know.
|Mike Dunleavy, SF 36 MIN | 5-15 FG | 7-8 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 19 PTS | +7
A typical of late Dunleavy shooting night and the Bucks probably take this one down. He had a great look with 43 seconds remaining that would have put the Bucks up three and probably would have gone down on another night. After grabbing his own offensive rebound, he got another look and was either blocked or altered by Carmelo Anthony. A bummer of a way to shoot given how automatic he’s been lately.
|Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF 32 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-5 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +12
Someone had to absorb Carmelo’s body blows in the fourth. His defense was solid, and the help was generally pretty good. ‘Melo scored seven points in the fourth quarter, two of which came after a Mbah a Moute block that hit off the backboard and fell back into Anthony’s hands for a layup. The easiest of Anthony’s looks came at the hand of Delfino. Mbah a Moute was physical with him and picked him up full court when Anthony went all point forward.
Minus one grade for the hideous jump shot attempt from 15-feet in the fourth quarter that barely, if at all, drew rim on the long side.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 23 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -14
He found himself so open around the free throw line with the ball in his hand at one point early in the fourth quarter that he had no choice but to shoot. Possibly to his surprise, he made the shot, his second bucket in the fourth. That little bit of offense was icing on the cake of another fine defensive outing from the undersized center, forced to cover a lot of Drew Gooden’s five minutes.
|Larry Sanders, C 12 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +10
I tweeted at one point that this may have been Sanders’ best game ever. That was too much. My bad. He had a very good game. Sanders battled admirably with Tyson Chandler inside and even gave him a hard foul at one point much to the delight of the crowd. Sanders is playing with more edge recently, which is fun and necessary out of a backup big man. He also had two electric blocks that led to fast breaks.
Four Things We Saw
- Milwaukee needed to capitalize on opportunities if they were going to win. But they failed too many times to do so. A missed free throw by Jennings after a technical from Carmelo. Loose balls scattered across the ground after stops and tapped out rebounds they couldn’t recover.The missed free throw from Jennings looks big now. Instead of up nine, the Bucks were up eight. Two possessions later it was a three point game and the Knicks were ready to take advantage.
- Milwaukee got some bounces its way in the fourth. Between two minutes and 23 second left in the fourth, the Bucks grabbed offensive rebonds on three straight possessions. On two of them, they grabbed two offensive boards. The first possession resulted in a three from Monta Ellis. The second resulted in more missed shots and the eventual start of the end. Coach Skiles opted against calling a timeout, citing the team’s struggles in executing out of timeouts lately. He said he was pleased with the shots (a pair from Mike Dunleavy), but they just didn’t go down.
- In the first quarter, the Knicks made 14 of 15 shots in the paint and shot 77% as a team. The Bucks had no defensive presence inside, especially with the hobbled Drew Gooden handling the first few minutes. Chandler exposed his immobility for seven quick points and the Bucks couldn’t stop the bleeding until the quarter ended. Once again, they had to dig out of a whole.
- Milwaukee now sits two games back of the Knicks for the eighth seed and three back of Philadelphia for the seventh. They’ve also lost their tiebreaker with the Knicks.