Carmelo-ization: Knicks 115 – Bucks 94
|Ersan Ilyasova, PF 25 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -16
8 points on 30% shooting. Amar’e Stoudemire has been playing well and he feasted when Ilyasova was guarding him. He simply picked a side of Ersan’s body and went hard toward the rim. Also see the Vine below.
|Khris Middleton, PF 27 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -15
6 points on 30% shooting. Played 27 minutes and grabbed 1 rebound. Guarded Carmelo Anthony, who ended up being the game’s leading scorer. Anthony was able to catch with his back to the basket, then score on post moves or after facing up. Also see the Vine below.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 20 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -12
When the Bucks roll with Ersan and Zaza up front, they get decent floor spacing, excellent passing out of the high post, decent picks and few mental mistakes. They also get shoddy rebounding and zero rim protection (The Bucks had just one block for the game.) It’s not a surprise the offense improved of late while the defense flatulates.
|Nate Wolters, PG 29 MIN | 5-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -14
Took two three-pointers, made two three-pointers. He has made 45.4% of his three-pointers since the All-Star Game, after converting just 18.4% prior to the break. Wolters was the team-high scorer on just seven FGA, a feat that is both impressive individually and frightening from a team perspective.
|Brandon Knight, PG 27 MIN | 5-13 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -18
The Knicks scored 18 points off 10 Milwaukee turnovers. They scored 6 off Knight’s 3, including two in the first quarter and one that triggered a fast break in the first moments of the second half.
Knight made a lefty, no-look pass to a wide-open Ilyasova right under the rim. The pass checked all the boxes as far as passes you would least likely expect from Knight. It was beautiful. Ersan missed the layup.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 8 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -1
He played the final 8:00 of the game when the outcome had been long decided.
|Jeff Adrien, PF 23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -5
Adrien was the only competitive rebounder for the Bucks in this game. The Bucks don’t have to bring back Adrien, but they should at least bring back someone like him. If their top-4 bigs for 2014-15 are Larry Sanders, Ilyasova, Henson, and Pachulia, they will struggle on the defensive glass again next season.
In the second half, he ended up on Carmelo a bit and didn’t fare well.
|Chris Wright, SF 7 MIN | 0-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -3
No dunks yet.
|John Henson, C 20 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -8
His post moves have been very fluid of late. The lefty hook is his go-to move, but he mixes in just enough to keep defenses honest. He finished a righty hook in this game.
|Ramon Sessions, PG 28 MIN | 4-9 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -7
He sets up and makes a lot of free throws. It’s a valuable skill, even if the Corey Maggette Era was traumatic.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 27 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -6
Giannis bobbled and hiccuped his way through the first half. After the intermission, he gathered himself and produced one of his more assertive performances of the past few weeks.
He has no qualms about sticking with a zone defense even when it’s getting shredded for easy looks and putbacks.
Three Things We Saw
- The Knicks made 12 of 17 shots in the paint in the first half. Overall, they went 22-for-39 for the half and collected 8 of their own misses. Meanwhile, the Bucks only had 5 defensive rebounds before halftime. The lack of defense/defensive rebounding early made the second half mostly irrelevant.
- On the WTMJ halftime show, Ted Davis noted that the New York media had requested to speak with Bucks assistant coach Jim Cleamons (and were denied). They wanted to know if there was potential for a Phil Jackson-Cleamons reunion in the future.
- On-ball defense on this play: poor. Help defense on this play: poor.