Hey, did you know there was an NBA franchise in Milwaukee? Well pack your bags, we’re going. The newly appointed king of New York, Giannis Antetokounmpo, plays for a team called the Bucks (23-10) and they certainly rooked the Knicks (9-26) on Christmas. Luckily the schedule-makers an-teto-ticipated that happening and gave the Knicks, a team you have heard of, a do-over right away. Perhaps in an effort to show how New York is the big cheese in Wisconsin? It will be the pair’s third meeting this December. Yes, great. How exciting.
You know what though? There comes a time when you realize all is lost. The Knicks are nothing without Kristaps Porzingis. They are a sulfuric well of lottery hope. Currently descending, they have become tied for the second-worst record in the NBA, the Knicks won’t be checking in to see what’s up with Kristaps until February. Maybe after that he can get ready to take on some preparatory work and at some point after that he can get some reps in actual games. Just in time to trample any hope for the top slot and Zion Williamson. Abandon ‘ship!
Enjoy Ryan Hollins talking about how Giannis can’t close out games, while Giannis closes out games in the background: pic.twitter.com/mCFKjr2wgS— Jonathan Gauthier (@jgauthier_23) December 26, 2018
Giannis is very clearly an MVP candidate whereas the Knicks best available player right now might be Noah Vonleh. He who averages 18 fewer points, 4.3 fewer rebounds and 3.7 fewer assists per game. While Vonleh should be considered in the Most Improved Player category, the fact of the matter is there is a huge gap to be made up here.
It’s alway tough to beat someone twice in a row in this league. So the key to this game will be the battle of wits between David Fizdale and Mike Budenholzer.
Noah Vonleh actually does about a good a job as can be done against Giannis. He’ll still get his and he unlocks the floor for the whole team but maybe there is some way to turn the tables and unlock the center of the floor for Vonleh on offense and make Antetokounmpo work harder than usual.
Perhaps there is a plodding big man that camps out on the block and clogs the paint for that sort of action. Fizdale will also have to manufacture some better opportunities for Tim Hardaway Jr. And call me crazy but maybe the guard rotation can switch up somehow. Don’t ask me how, but there must be a way.
Ah, it’s so simple. Clearly the Knicks cannot choose to defend the basket in front of the Bucks. They must offend the basket in front of themselves! Yet of course, at half time they switch baskets and won’t be able to pick the same hoop to offend. So clearly they can’t choose the basket in front of themselves. Never go in against a Knickerbocker when the game is on the line!
David Fizdale refuses to play Frank Ntilikina and refuses to expose Mario Hezonja to the terrors of Giannis for several minutes of iso-Zonja. Allonzo Trier and Trey Burke will spend a devastating amount of time going all iso-Zo and iso-Burr (he’ll go cold) as much as they damn well please, yielding varied results on their 13-19 foot pull up two’s.
Knicks by -99.