Friday, March 9, 2012

Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks - What To Watch For

In a recent downward spiral, tonight at 8:30 the Knicks play a suddenly important game against the 9th place Milwaukee Bucks. The Knicks have dropped three straight and five of their last seven and now are in danger of being replaced as the 8th seed team in the East by the Bucks.

And it seemingly couldn't come at a worse time. While Milwaukee is only 3-7 in their last ten games, they always play their best, winning eleven of the last thirteen games. Likewise, Brandon Jennings who forever hates the Knicks (20 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg against New York for his career) will now play them without Tyson Chandler or Jared Jeffries in the middle. 

It will be a tough test for the Knicks tonight. What do ya'll say? You ready for some Robert Randolph and the Family Band "Friday Night Knicks"?! Take the jump for some things to watch!

- HOW WILL MIKE D'ANTONI'S LINEUP TINKERING WORK OUT?!
  • Against San Antonio, Mike D'Antoni did some lineup shuffling by inserting Josh Harrellson at center and replacing Landry Fields with Iman Shumpert. Word tonight is that the Knicks will go with a small-ball approach by moving Amar'e Stoudemire to center, Carmelo Anthony to power forward, Landry Fields to small forward, and Iman Shumpert at shooting guard. That lineup seems offensively capable, no?
 - BATTLING DOWN LOW!
  • The Bucks continue to be without Andrew Bogut, so they've been playing relatively small with Drew Gooden and Ersan Ilyasova upfront. However, those two are both having terrific season and Ilyasova in particular has been a beast on the boards. Josh Harrellson and Jerom Jordan both provide reasonable size and rebounding, but Stoudemire and Anthony may be quite challenged for rebounds and hustle plays - neither of which are there forte. 
 - DENY BRANDON JENNINGS!
  •  This one is simple. Jennings loves to light up the Knicks, and has done so with great success since entering the league. Iman Shumpert seems suited to stopping his forays into the paint and his launching ways from downtown, but Jennings is about as streaky as they come, so if he gets hot, it could spell trouble.
 - EXECUTE ON OFFENSE!
  • This is also terribly simple and not the slightest bit profound, but it's a problem for the Knicks. They scored over 100 points in two of their last three games, but it hasn't been entirely convincing. Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin still seem unsure of what to do out there, Stoudemire, while showing signs, isn't himself, and the bench has been hit-or-miss, namely Baron Davis and J.R. Smith. The Knicks aren't going to win with defense tonight, so they'll need their offense to be in tip-top shape.

Gametime is at 8:30, guys! Knicks need a win badly, because amidst all of the doom-and-gloom articles being published about the team, winning cures all. A win over a lowly (seemingly inferior team) who trails them in the standings would shut some folks up. Let's go Knicks!

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