Worst shot ever not enough: Knicks 107 – Bucks 101

828341675 And the Milwaukee Bucks still lost.

New York Knicks 107 Final
Recap | Box Score
101 Milwaukee Bucks
Ersan Ilyasova, PF Shot Chart 49 MIN | 2-10 FG | 7-8 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -5

It almost seems like everything Ersan is doing is being done because he knows he has to do it, but doesn’t think it will work. He looks slower than usual. His shots aren’t falling or all that close to falling for the most part. He hasn’t been keeping as many balls alive on the offensive glass. When he gets an opportunity to finish and anyone is around him, he falls down or fades away at least half the time. There’s no power or confidence to his game right now. That’s bad.

John Henson, PF Shot Chart 51 MIN | 7-14 FG | 6-10 FT | 14 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | +2

It will be refreshing when Henson gets a big man next to him who can handle playing center. When he was matched up with Tyson Chandler tonight, things looked very difficult for him. When Chandler wasn’t on him, he seemed to thrive. His tip-in sent the game into a second overtime and was symbolic of his solid job on the offensive glass.

Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 52 MIN | 8-22 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | -4

It’s like he was able to have two okay Middleton games in one night, given his stat line in 52 minutes. He gets extra points for helping to harass Carmelo Anthony into a tough shooting night (9-29 FG). Anthony isn’t a terrible matchup for Middleton, who has some strength, but lacks quick change of direction foot speed. I think Anthony thought he could bully Middleton in the post, but KM stood up well.

Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 50 MIN | 13-25 FG | 4-6 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 8 TO | 36 PTS | +3

Larry Drew was excited about his aggressiveness, speed and strength after the game. Well, maybe not excited. He seemed happy about it, with a caveat: Knight needs to learn how to use it better. Knight had a career high 36 points, which was great. But he had just three assists and turned the ball over eight times. He often finds himself over penetrating or flying out of control in transition, unable to reel himself in in time to find a teammate successfully. When he over penetrates, he either turns the ball over or has to get up a bad shot. Knight has so many physical skills and an ability to make shots, but he looked nothing like a point guard against the Knicks.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 42 MIN | 2-3 FG | 6-7 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -1

Giannis got all nasty with Carmelo Anthony and generally had a lot to say to both Anthony and Metta World Peace in his first start. His comments when he was asked why he played with more attitude this game:

“The reason was Carmelo. I respect him, he is one of the best players. But he can’t come out and start bullying my teammates, me, talk to me all the time, say stuff. So, I try to not react back to him but, you have to respect him, but, if he do it all night, you can’t focus on your game, so you have to respond, tell him something, to stop. When you go out there, I don’t care who you are, for me, you’re just a jersey. So I’ll play you defense and push you back.

He make me be more aggressive.”

Tough guy Giannis wants a piece, 'Melo. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Tough guy Giannis wants a piece, ‘Melo. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, given Knight’s hot hand and Giannis’ place in Milwaukee’s pecking order, he didn’t get many opportunities over the fourth quarter and overtime periods, but when Giannis was involved, he attacked the rim as usual and again dropped off a couple of nice assists. He might have to force himself into the action a bit more going forward though, find a way to get the ball into his hands, because that’s where he really thrives.

Ekpe Udoh, PF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -9

Solid rebounding night. He had a big one late in the game after Beno Udrih missed a jumper that could have given the ball game to the Knicks before overtime. Outside of the boards, not much from Ekpe.

Luke Ridnour, PG Shot Chart 17 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -13

Indistinguishable game. The kind of night where you see Ridour played 17 minutes and you think, “Really? No lie?”

Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3

His most notable moment was a complete refusal to attempt a three as the first half ended. He has no interest in shooting threes right now, as he is now 2-24 on threes this season after missing one Wednesday.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The Knicks attempted 41 threes! JR Smith took 17 himself! It seems like maybe they were out of control, but New York only turned the ball over 14 times, while the Bucks coughed it up 22 times. That explains New York’s hefty 101-82 advantage on shots.
  2. Larry Drew on Bargnani’s crazy shot: “What I thought? I’m curious what he thought.”
  3. After the aformentoined Ekpe rebound late in the fourth quarter, the Bucks had a chance to win with a last second shot. The shot ended up being a John Henson 19-footer. D’oh. Larry Drew felt like there was a breakdown in concentration that led to that shot.

    “All five guys have to be on the same page and there has to be total team execution and total team focus in what we have to do from a last shot stand point,” he said. “The play has to be run with pace, precision, everybody has to do their part and you get the shot that you want and you live with it. And that was not the case. We had a breakdown. We had a couple guys out of spots and we just did not get the shot that was drawn up in the huddle.”

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  1. I wonder if they hid Giannis in OT on offense to try to save fouls so they could keep him on D. Baffling decision imo though.

    • Was thinking the same thing because when he was aggressive in the third quarter he looked like a very difficult match-up for the Knicks.

  2. They ran out of gas (and fouls) in the second overtime, but they sure made NY work for the win.

    Bucks bench looks like a commercial for Joseph A. Banks.

    Fun game to watch.

    Go Bucks!

  3. Again, this is a fine result for this team, at this time. Would prefer them to pull out the win, and to see much crisper execution, but that will come with time.

    Giannis and Middleton got reps hassling one of the best scorers in the league, Henson got some reps getting pushed around by one of the best centers in the league (and was given free reign in the post when that man was out), and everybody was able to be involved in a game where late possessions mattered against what was supposed to be (but clearly is not) one of the better teams in the East. Giannis playing 42 minutes against Carmelo Anthony can only be a good thing in the long run.

    Once Larry gets back, we could be in for a fun dead of winter. Interested, in particular, to see if he and Knight can run the pick-and-roll, and what Sanders taking over in the post on offense might do for Ersan (or, conversely, if someone throws some picks/prospects at Milwaukee for Ersan at the trade deadline).

    The running and-1 continuation dunk by Giannis alone was worth the price of admission.

  4. I really enjoyed watching the heart this young Bucks core group showed last night… it’s a pleasure to see guys that are hungry and excited for their opportunity. Carmelo is going to have nightmares about the way Giannis guarded him last night…all he could do was resort to trash talk and crying to the refs for help after getting owned by a 19 year old the entire second half. The effort is certainly there from the young guys…

    That said, 2 things that stuck out to me that are becoming troubling… 11 team assists in a Double OT game? 22 Turnovers? Yikes. Too many of their plays start with the high ball screen and dribble penetration…especially with Knight, who shot well last night, but all too often gets too deep into the lane amongst the trees and can’t pass out of it (hence his 8 TO’s). They’ve got 5 guys who can score… they’ve gotta get some early play clock ball movement, and quit trying to do so much off the dribble. And two, Ersan continues to be horrible. I don’t know what this guy’s deal is early in the season (same issue last year), but its hard to justify keeping him around if we’ve already seen his best work. Every shot was short last night… no energy on the boards, minimal effort on D. Even if he plays an average game last night, Bucks win, but sadly, the game he had last night is starting to become the norm.

    • Ersan’s been bothered by his ankle issues from earlier in the season – he’s actually just been shut down for a few games to help it heal. So it seems pretty safe to say that his ineffectiveness is related to that. Hopefully once he gets healthy he’ll start to round back into form.

      • Ersan shoots free throws by planting his feet and using flexed knees. He was spot on doing that.

        His multiple jumps to get offensive rebounds and “jump” shots seems to be the problem….all relating to his bad wheels.

        Speedy and thorough recovery from ankle injury is what’s needed before we give up on him. Not like we don’t have an entire team’s worth of guys not playing any minutes at all.

        And I thought 2010-11 was a bad year for injuries.

  5. It seems 20 turnovers per night (Knight?) is pretty much the norm for this team. As long as turnovers exceed assists this team has basically no chance to win. But maybe that’s the idea.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention -Ersan looks completely dead in the water. Poor guy. Somewhere along the line he lost all his basketball skills! Maybe somebody stole them.

  6. Knight does not seem to be showing improvement in that respect, and maybe he never will, but i will take his turnovers and poor shots over bjs. At least Knight is trying, playing defense and does seem to be about the team.

  7. I like Brandon in general as a player, too, and am willing to give him some time to develop as a point guard. I just wish we’d bring in someone else at the point right away to go along with Brandon; then we’d have another possibility at the position, and the “worst” that could happen is that both would be great.

    Another episode of “Cautionary Tales of the Tank”: Wasn’t Andrea Bargnani the #1 overall in his draft class? Plus, I think Carmelo was #3 overall in his class; he’s a big scorer, but without a lot of team accomplishments.
    Don’t get me wrong: I hope we get one of the elite college guys coming up in June. I just hope people aren’t putting too much hope in one guy, especially if we don’t work on getting the rest of the team better.

    Good night, Bucks fans.

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