The Milwaukee Bucks are good, y’all. Giannis Antetokounmpo is good. Sadly, the Knicks have to play (and maybe occasionally beat) good teams if they want to have a successful season. They put up a fight, but Milwaukee prevailed on Friday night, 119-108.
The Knicks’ “Big 3” of Jalen Brunson (3-10, 13 points), RJ Barrett (7-17, 20 points) and Julius Randle (3-10, 14 points) struggled mightily to hit shots against the Bucks’ elite defense. RJ was even worse in the first half, but caught fire a bit at the end of the third quarter. Unfortunately, the Bucks had already stretched the lead to 24 by that point, with Tom Thibodeau steadfastly refusing to bench the starting lineup until the game appeared out of reach.
In a moment that’ll remind Knicks fans of last season, the bench (plus RJ) did a great job of bringing them back, closing the deficit to 11 by the end of the third quarter. They couldn’t get any closer in the fourth, but at least they forced Giannis to play pretty much the entire period to fend them off.
I thought Immanuel Quickley was the best player on the court for the Knicks on Friday night. His numbers look pedestrian (14 points on 5-10 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 assists), but he was an absolute hound on defense (3 steals). He finished with a team-high plus-11, while starter Evan Fournier finished with a disastrous minus-22.
Quick with the TOUGH and-one finish!— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) October 29, 2022
IQ now has 12 points on 4/6 shooting pic.twitter.com/Z7m0TQ12U4
The Knicks probably weren’t going to win anyway, but it would’ve been nice to get a few more minutes for Obi Toppin, who scored 11 points in 17 minutes and shot 3-5 from three. Randle played hard, but he couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean. Eventually, he and RJ need to start hitting some jump shots.
No recap tonight. The Knicks will be back in action Sunday in Cleveland. Until then!