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Bucks 146, Knicks 122: “Good grief”

A beatdown in the Mitten.

The inaugural edition of the NBA In-Season Tournament has slowly but surely changed the minds of many skeptical fans around the world. What was initially seen as a money grab by the league has quickly become a fan favorite. The first elimination game on Monday already showed the tournament’s potential, as the Pacers shocked the Celtics and the city of Indianapolis was sent into a frenzy.

All eyes were on Tuesday’s standalone game in Milwaukee. Could the Knicks provide an upset of their own against the Bucks, one of the best teams in the East?

Not quite.

The first quarter got off to an inconspicuous start. With 6:00 left in the first frame, the score was 15-14, Bucks by one. The Knicks were playing solid defense and were beginning to find their footing on offense. Nothing to see here… right?

Don’t blink! The metaphorical gun went off, and the track meet began. A few short minutes later, quarter one ended: Bucks 37, Knicks 35. Woah.

Julius Randle got off to an excellent start tonight, scoring 12 in the first quarter. By halftime, he’d tally 25 points on perfect shooting: 9/9 from the field, 1/1 from long range, and 6/6 from the charity stripe.

The second quarter was more of the aforementioned track meet. The Bucks were Swiss cheese on the defensive side of things but were scoring at will. Randle and Brunson were the only reasons that the game remained close going into the half. The role players weren’t doing much of anything on the offensive end, but the Knicks did enough work on the glass and from the free-throw line to cancel out a 10-3 three-point disparity in favor of Milwaukee.

At the half, it was Bucks 75, Knicks 72. A shootout, but a welcome one! The Knicks were right in it.

The Bucks picked up right where they left off after the break. The Knicks, on the other hand, did not.

Milwaukee went on an 18-6 run and stretched their lead to 93-78. The Randle-Brunson tandem did their best to keep the Knicks afloat, but there wasn’t much they could do to stop the damage inflicted by Giannis, Dame, and the marksmanship of the Bucks’ role players. The Bucks were hitting absolutely everything, eclipsing the century mark with 4:37 to go in the third quarter. Three after three fell for them, and the frame ended with the Knicks down 16. Yeowch.

The Knicks came out in the fourth strong, stringing together a 90-second fake comeback in the form of a 6-0 run to briefly cut the lead to single digits. But alas, it was not meant to be. The Bucks dominated down the stretch, and before you knew it, this game was over.

Jacob Toppin made his Knicks (and NBA) debut in the waning minutes of this one, and alongside him was none other than Charlie Brown Jr. Welcome to the Knicks. Final score: 146-122.

Good grief, Chuck.


  • The Knicks were outshot from behind the arc 23-7 tonight. The Bucks were 60.8% from long range. There is almost no way to allow that and still win a basketball game. Bad.
  • Quentin Grimes tonight: 18 mins, 0 PTS (0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT), 1 REB, 0 AST. Not ideal.
  • Total waste of a Randle masterclass tonight. This was easily his best game all year, dropping 41 points on incredibly efficient shooting. Hopefully, he keeps the controlled aggression up.
  • Some brief good news: The Knicks are 28th in the league from the free-throw line. Tonight, they put on a shooting clinic, going 29-33 as a team.
  • Malik Beasley is an incredible fit with this Bucks offense. He completely elevates their game. 6-10 from deep tonight. The man is a weapon.
  • Another Bucks player who stood out: Brook Lopez. At 35 years old, he had 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. Mitchell Robinson was held to just 2 points and 4 rebounds by him.

Sometimes things don’t go your way. This is one of those times. Hang in there, Knicks fans.