By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Post Game Recap
The Knicks made it difficult on themselves but they were able to come away from Milwaukee with a 107-101 double overtime victory over the Bucks. It was a hard fought, tough game as both teams did not put on the nicest of performances for fans to watch. Tyson Chandler made is anticipated return to the court tonight and was a big reason the Knicks were able to come away with a victory. It was a struggle but the Knicks were able to get timely baskets when they needed them and important stops when it came down to it. A lot of players played big minutes but the Knicks will get some much needed days of rest with their next game not being until noon Saturday at Madison Square Garden against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Player of the Game: Tyson Chandler
|Morry Gash/AP Photo|
In his return to the lineup since being injured November 5th Chandler showed the impact he can have on the game. Chandler was forced into a lot more minutes than head coach Mike Woodson had hoped with the game going into overtime and not having Amar’e Stoudemire or Kenyon Martin, but he gutted it out for the team because he knew they needed him out there. Chandler’s presence on the court was noticeable right from the start as he controlled the middle as well as anyone could have expected with him not playing for six weeks. On the night Chandler finished with nine points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocks. Chandler had a big impact in the overtime periods getting multiple blocks and intimidating the Bucks into tougher shots. Chandler looked to be suffering from cramps late in the overtime periods but was able to give the Knicks everything he could. His return to the lineup will give the Knicks a must needed boost.
Beno Udrih is forced to start and play big minutes with Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni both being out and he did outstanding tonight. Udrih took what the defense was giving him en route to 21 points on 8-12 from the field (5-7 3pt). He rounded out his stat line with a solid four rebounds, five assists and two steals. Most importantly he turned the ball over only one time in 40 minutes. Udrih will continue to be pressed into duty with the Knicks shorthanded in the backcourt but looks ready to do so. Udrih is a veteran and always plays under control; things will only get easier for him as he gets more used to the players he will be sharing the court with.
Metta World Peace only played 12 minutes but they were as productive 12 minutes as anyone had in the game. He came in the game in the second quarter and recorded four points and four steals in only four minutes. He also played great defense throughout the night as him and Iman Shumpert were subbing in constantly throughout the overtime periods for the Knicks as they made sure to have their best defenders on the court tonight compared to Monday against the Wizards. Without Martin, World Peace should be seeing minutes as he brings the same toughness and intensity that Martin brings in his minutes.
The Bucks sat in a zone for a large portion of the game and the Knicks fell right into it, shooting jump shot after jump shot. Luckily the Knicks connected on a good amount of them as they knocked down 17-41 three point attempts in the game for 41.5 percent. Udrih and JR Smith both knocked down five each as Smith set a franchise record for three point attempts in a single game with 17. Smith did not shoot a good percentage and 17 three pointers jumps out at you as being a lot but not many were forced; more than a few came in transition where teams thrive in knocking down three pointers as the defense is scrambling to get back. Carmelo Anthony knocked down four three pointers of his own.
The assist totals were again nice to see. The Knicks had 26 assists on the night on 38 made field goals. They also were able to hold onto the ball, turning it over only 12 times. That is an impressive number when you take into account they played almost a full quarter more of an NBA game and everyone was visibly tired, usually a making for a ton of turnovers. On the defensive end the Knicks were able to force the Bucks into 20 turnovers in the game.
The Knicks knocked down a fair amount of three pointers but they settled more often than too easily for jump shots. The end result was a poor shooting percentage overall, as they finished the game at 37.6 percent. Udrih, Chandler and World Peace were the only Knicks to shoot over 50 percent in the game. Anthony and Smith combined to shoot 16-52 from the field and Shumpert added 0-5. Anthony did finish the game strong though as he scored the last eight points of the game for the team. Shumpert looks to have lost all confidence on the offensive end and looks to just be going through the motions knowing his time in New York seems to be waning.
Tour’e Murry was in line to get his first meaningful minutes of his NBA career tonight with the Knicks having so many injuries in their backcourt. Murry followed suit and actually got injured in the game as well. He sprained his ankle and was able to only give the Knicks 12 minutes tonight, the big reason for Udrih’s big minute total. He had to have had butterflies getting his first significant minutes but he looked poised on his time on the court. He gave the Knicks positive minutes as he finished with a +4 and also put a little chilling on the Bucks’ guards thrilling, as Walt “Clyde” Frazier would say. If Murry can shake the ankle sprain he performed well enough to get more minutes in the next couple of games.
The Bucks guards continued the trend of torching the Knicks. Tonight it was Brandon Knight, who scored a career high 36 points. Knight scored from all over the court, knocking down 12-23 shots in the game and 6-12 from the three point line. He was unable to pull out the victory for the Bucks though as Chandler played him well after getting switched onto him in pick-and-roll situations late in the game. That does not diminish the great game he had, as he added nine rebounds and three assists as he was the only reason the Bucks were in this game. He did struggle holding onto the ball at some points as the aggressive Knicks trap gave him some trouble as he turned the ball over eight times.
The heavy minutes tonight could take a toll on the team as whole. Anthony played a career high 55 minutes and multiple players played season highs as well. Woodson cringed having to use Chandler so many minutes right off his return from injury but it was all out of necessity. When you struggle as much as the Knicks do to get wins you have to pull out all the stops as any win is a big win for the team currently. You cannot control injuries so the Knicks just have to hope that Chandler was suffering from only cramps and Murry is not added to the suit wearing section Felton and Prigioni both reside in now.