Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks
Post Game Recap
It was a tale of two halves for the Knicks tonight as they were able to send the fans home happy opening night with an ugly 90-83 win over the Bucks. The Knicks put on a Jekyll and Hyde performance for the ages as they held as much as a 26 point lead in the first half but struggled to keep up the intensity in the second half as the Bucks came storming back. It was not pretty but in the end the Knicks were able to get a victory to start the season and will have a quick turnaround as they will fly to Chicago to play the Bulls Halloween night at 8 PM ET.
Player of the Game: Tyson Chandler
Chandler was a huge difference maker on both sides of the court tonight for the Knicks. He thoroughly outplayed Bucks starting center Larry Sanders all night as Sanders was in foul trouble, playing only 12 minutes and recording five fouls. Chandler anchored the Knicks defense tonight as he challenged shots and made life difficult for the Bucks in the paint. He also added five blocks and three steals to the stat sheet. Chandler also made an impact on the offensive end with highlight put back dunks while showing off his new jump shot, knocking down one of his two attempts from 15-plus feet. Chandler would not let his team lose tonight and was a part of all the good things the Knicks did tonight. Chandler also had the second highest +/- tonight on the team with a +18.
- The first half defense was a thing of beauty for the Knicks. The Bucks were held to only 31 points in the first two quarters because of fast and well rotating defense the Bucks were not prepared for. It definitely helped that the Bucks had to rely on rookie second round pick Nate Wolters to run the show after starting point guard Brandon Knight went down less than two minutes into the game. It was up to the Knicks to take advantage though and that is what they did as they forced turnovers and got into the open court for easy fast break buckets.
- Iman Shumpert has a lot of questions surrounding him this season and for at least one game he showed why he deserves the starting shooting guard spot. Shumpert’s stifling defense helped keep explosive guard OJ Mayo in check tonight, as Mayo scored only 13 points in 36 minutes. Shumpert only recorded one steal but he had a number of deflections and tips on the defensive end to get the Knicks out and running.
- Carmelo Anthony was quieter than normal on the offensive end for the Knicks as it was a very team-centric approach on offense but he showed up when he needed to. With the Knicks slipping and the game in the balance Anthony came up with a big offensive put-back and another basket following that. Anthony finished the game with only 19 points on seven of 16 shooting but the biggest stat for Anthony tonight was the 10 rebounds he had to lead the team. With Mike Woodson deploying the small lineup tonight having Anthony pull down rebounds is extremely important.
- Pablo Prigioni struggled tonight at times turning the ball over four times but he was a catalyst tonight for the Knicks pulling out the win. He hit all three of his shots tonight en route to seven points to go along with three rebounds and five assists. Prigioni also added three steals as he was a menace on the defensive end and took full advantage of the Bucks not having an experienced point guard playing tonight. Prigioni also finished the highest +/- ratio on the team tonight with a +19.
- The second half was abysmal for the Knicks as they scored only 34 points in the last two quarters and turned the ball over at an alarming rate. On the night the Knicks turned the ball over 22 times and struggled to get anything going on the offensive end. The Knicks lacked the energy they started the game with and lost their edge after they opened up a huge lead and slacked off in the second half. This was a common theme for the Knicks team last year as they would lose focus and intensity when the score would become lopsided and it happened once again tonight. It was unfortunate as the Knicks have a quick turnaround; getting some rest for the starters, especially Raymond Felton who exited in the third quarter with a hamstring injury. The Knicks slide coincided with Felton exiting the game as the Knicks just fell apart without their starting point guard.
- It was only the first game of the season but Andrea Bargnani did not impress much. It was a difficult matchup as the Bucks went small but he looked a little lost at times on the court and lacked the fire the rest of his teammates lacked. It will be worth keeping an eye on as Woodson will continue giving Bargnani minutes to try and work him into the swing of things but how long of a leash does Bargnani have before he has to start earning his minutes?