Although the Knicks suffered their first double-digit loss of the season, this game was hanging in the balance in the final minutes. Here’s where the NBA is in 2018: the Knicks made 10 of 29 three-pointers, which not long ago would be something to write home about. But people don’t write anymore. They don’t even email. The future demands more, more, more; push push push! The Milwaukee Bucks did that, hitting 17 of 40 threes, including what seemed like 17 in the last three minutes, en route to the 124-113 win.
Of course the other thing Milwaukee had/has going for it is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had it going tonight from the jump.
To a man the Bucks had it going from the jump.
Back to Giannis. Unguardable when he has a head of steam.
Unguardable when he doesn’t.
Still, strength, length and a willingness to try go a long way, which sort of rhymes with Vonleh.
I’m here for Vonleh’s defense. Stares Giannis down in the open court. Sneaky little play by Bledsoe to get the tip pic.twitter.com/6aQzwdMUJW— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) October 23, 2018
Speaking of D, Frank Ntilikina brought some too.
Frank doing what Frank does pic.twitter.com/wVpq25mFE2— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) October 23, 2018
Sometimes he doubled his pleasure.
If you can’t decide which position Frank should play, just have him guard two guys pic.twitter.com/kwvgGZfypm— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) October 23, 2018
The score was 23-17 Bucks after the first quarter. Sike! That was the score at the midway point of the first. That’s your new normal. I hope the NBA has a better grip on this “let’s change the settings to blow up offenses” thing than MLB and the NFL have shown. Doubt it.
The Bucks kept coming in waves, bloodying the Knicks figuratively and literally.
Ron Baker had to leave the game after he caught a Noah Vonleh elbow to the face and started heavily bleeding. It looks like a nasty gash and more bad luck for the Knicks guard, who ran into Vonleh's elbow on a dummy dribble-handoff. pic.twitter.com/41diHDoegX— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) October 23, 2018
Maaaaaybe we should’ve seen that coming. Poor Ron. Can’t catch a break.
Ron Baker takes on his teammates and loses pic.twitter.com/HADkjdusu9— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) October 23, 2018
Ever. By which I mean frequently.
Ron Baker’s face has had a tough go of it pic.twitter.com/dgtpAJagg4— Matt Spendley (@mattspendley) October 23, 2018
The Bucks opened up a double-digit lead, but Mario Hezonja, perhaps with Clarence Gaines’ words burning in his ear, joined with Damyean Dotson, Noah Vonleh and Allonzo Trier to bring the Knicks back within reach..
Super Mario with a quick 7 points off the bench pic.twitter.com/QpTZiDTB12— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) October 23, 2018
Defense turns to offense and I have hearts in my eyes pic.twitter.com/ERUXJr9vDv— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) October 23, 2018
After that dunk, the Bucks went on a run to up their lead to 19 at the half. One reason why: there were too many occasions tonight where Knick dribblers did their job penetrating and kicked out to a teammate who either missed a gimme or refused to shoot.
B E A UUUUtiful pass from Frankie aaaaaaaaaand pic.twitter.com/PsF1AcVTh0— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) October 23, 2018
Another reason: Khris Middleton.
In the third, the Knicks did what these Knicks do: they made a game of it. Trey Burke, perhaps with most of Knicks Twitter’s words burning in his ear, sparked the comeback.
Trey burke has been missing wide open shooters all game...he really shouldn't be a starter. Looking especially bad against an enormous bucks squad— Zach DiLuzio (@zjdiluzio) October 23, 2018
Boy, Trey Burke Island has gotten a lot smaller through three and a half games...— Jonathan Macri (@JCMacriNBA) October 23, 2018
who y’all think trey burke is vs who he actually is pic.twitter.com/QgavgbUNet— kev (@kevinOMO_) October 21, 2018
I hate Trey Burke— Kyle Teichert (@KyleTeichert) October 17, 2018
So Trey Burke just came out in the 3rd Quarter and politely told all of us doubters to go (expletive deleted) ourselves.— Jonathan Macri (@JCMacriNBA) October 23, 2018
I, for one, am ok with it.
You knew where this was headed.
How do you solve a problem like the Greek Freak? Well...you don’t.
Not sure what the Knicks, or anyone, can do when Giannis Antetokounmpo puts his head down from outside the 3-point line and needs just one dribble inside the line to finish with a dunk. That's 6-9, 240lb Noah Vonleh bouncing off him. pic.twitter.com/BDaOwAYtVz— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) October 23, 2018
But this season isn’t about solutions. It’s about coming back and not giving up, even when no solution is apparent. And it’s apparent these Knicks don’t give up. Dotson tied things up late.
DOTSON AGAIN— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) October 23, 2018
Likes that spot in transition pic.twitter.com/1cVHsmsBFq
So did Tim Hardaway Jr.
In the end, the Bucks were bigger, faster, stronger, longer, and better. Nothing you can do about that. But while New York left the fight bloodied and beaten, they got their shots in, too. This year, on a lot of nights, that’s their ceiling. Keep pressing up against it and one day they’ll break through.
If you want to talk about tonight’s game, be sure to check in with KnicksFanTV! CP and J. Ellis are live now and taking your questions at 657-383-1509.
Recap to come.