A Big Apple Beatdown: Bucks 95 – Knicks 82

Milwaukee Bucks 95 Final Recap | Box Score 82 New York Knicks
Khris Middleton, PF 22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +5Middleton wasn’t spectacular, by any means, but he also didn’t make any glaring mistakes. And considering he played only 22 minutes, his stat line is pretty respectable. It’s also worth noting that after a slow start to the season, Middleton’s three-point percentage (38.9%) is nearing last season’s mark (41.4%).

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +6O’Bryant enjoyed his best game since the Atlanta blowout, playing a career-high 22 minutes and making another start at power forward. The rookie’s footwork is a work in progress, and he still runs like he has sandbags attached to his feet, but he was active on the boards and physical going to the rack.

Zaza Pachulia, C 31 MIN | 6-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +8

This was arguably Zaza’s best game of the season, as he scored a season-high 16 points and fell one rebound short of tying his season-high of 15 set against Atlanta on Dec. 27. He worked Quincy Acy on the offensive end for most of the game, and his passing skills were on full display.

Brandon Knight, PG 32 MIN | 6-14 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +7

Outside of a few careless turnovers, Knight had another solid game and led the Bucks with 17 points. He picked his spots well and did a good job of making meaningful cuts off the ball, like this one.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 30 MIN | 6-9 FG | 3-6 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | +7

Giannis tied his season-high with 12 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive end, as the Bucks cruised to a 48-36 rebounding advantage. He cleaned up around the rim, and even stepped into, and drained, a catch-and-shoot three from the wing without hesitation. That’s a good sign for a player who attempted just seven three-pointers in the month of December, three of which came on New Year’s Eve in Cleveland.

John Henson, C 11 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +5

Henson channeled his inner Larry Sanders and somehow committed five fouls in 11 minutes. Impressive stuff. He’s shown flashes since returning from injury – read: 14 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks Friday vs. IND – but being able to stay on the floor is typically a prerequisite for putting up solid numbers.

Kendall Marshall, PG 21 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +10

This was probably Marshall’s most assertive offensive game since coming to Milwaukee. A player usually regarded for setting up others, he dished out a trio of assists, but what struck me the most was his ability to create his own shot. Marshall began the fourth quarter with a strong and-1 layup and tacked on a couple impressive post baskets over Jose Calderon later in the period.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 25 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +4

Bayless defended well, hit a three and made this nifty pass in what was mostly a passive night. He also helped jumpstart the Milwaukee offense with three first half assists, including this around-the-back dandy to Marshall.

Jared Dudley, SG 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +8

Dudley’s eight-game streak of scoring at least nine points finally came to an end. Talk about a wild ride.

O.J. Mayo, SG 25 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +5

Mayo isn’t playing poorly on either end, but he continues to have trouble getting shots to fall. He’s 1-of-8 from three over the last two games and has just four games of at least 50 percent shooting in his last 20 contests.

Jason Kidd

Kidd continues to manage minutes well, and with the Bucks holding a fairly comfortable lead for most of the game, he didn’t really have to make any super-impactful decisions. No complaints here.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Well, I’m still not sure that I actually saw Quincy Acy do this, but this video would appear to offer proof.
  2. Vin Baker!
  3. All 10 Bucks to enter the game scored in the first half. This team continues to blur the line between “starters” and “bench.”
  4. Here’s something we heard: loud boos and “FIRE FISHER” chants raining down from the MSG crowd.
  5. A bonus fifth thing: the brothers Mayo and Antetokounmpo.

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1 Comment

  1. It’s fun watching the young guys on the Bucks as they grow.

    I almost take Giannis for granted, because I know he’s going to get his minutes regardless, and because he gets so much attention anyway — but it’s amazing how far he’s come in so short a time, extremely impressive. Plus, his outside shot looks solid and is likely to get better and better; and I like that he’s been taking more of them, yet in a gradual way.

    I’m also a big fan of Brandon; I haven’t given up on Larry; and I’m looking forward to Jabari’s triumphant return (God bless him with his surgery today, and also Damien’s).

    I tend to focus on the guys who seem to be overlooked, which to me has meant Khris, John and Kendall. I’ve really enjoyed that all three are getting more time on the court, and coming along rather nicely. Although they’re likely to have their ups and downs, I hope that Bucks management sticks with them, and even expands their roles.

    The experience on the court is so important. It’s so much fun to see our young guys gradually get their bearings on the court, gaining an understanding of their limitations but also their capabilities. maximizing their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses, growing in competence and confidence.

    As the individuals grow, I’m seeing the makings of a special team out of our core of younger players, who seem to have exciting talents and untapped potential, who seem to have good character and outstanding attitudes, who seem to like each other and are so good at sharing the ball and helping on defense.

    To me, it’s more than developing a couple of superstars; it’s growing a real team of unselfish guys who cover for each other’s flaws and strive to bring out the best in each other, and who develop a real identity as a team that gets more accomplishment and satisfaction out of their combined efforts than by going it alone. If this happens, it will be a wonderful and winning experience for both the players and the fans.