Climbing all the way back from a 24-point deficit, the New York Knicks nearly stole a win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. Losing by a score of one 112â€“100, New York is now 2â€“4 at home, just a few days after taking down Milwaukee at their home arena.
The Knicks showed resiliency but were unable to find their way back, losing by 12, mainly as a result of poor starting play.
Three takeaways from Knicks’ loss to Bucks:
1.) Perimeter defense remains an issue
The Knicks’ perimeter defense has been absolutely abysmal this season, allowing the Bucks to shoot 52% from three-point range, connecting on 26 shots. Backup shooting guard Pat Connaughton hit seven three-pointers, and Grayson Allen contributed five. Milwaukee entered the game as the 18th ranked three-point shooting team, showcasing just how poor New York has been on defense.
If Tom Thibodeau’s squad canâ€™t fix these glaring issues, it is going to be a long season for them trying to play catch-up from range.
2.) The starting team was BAD
The Knicks have had serious issues with their starting team this season, as they combined for just 32 points. Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier combined for just four points, both logging a -22 +/-.
Julius Randle has been hot as of late but was only able to contribute 16 points, struggling on defense. Despite the Knicks shooting 43.2% from deep, the Bucks simply got hot, despite giving up a 24-point lead at one point in the second half.
The reserves ended up contributing the most, as Derrick Rose posted 22 points and Immanuel Quickley earned a season-high 18.
3.) Kemba Walker is useless when he’s not scoring
Kemba Walker has been a liability for the Knicks over the past few games, recording two points, two assists, and missing all three of his shots from deep. He connected on just one field goal. Walker hasnâ€™t shot over 33% since the Knicks’ loss to the Toronto Raptors, in which he posted 15 points. He hasn’t scored double-digit points since that game, seeing his minutes decrease significantly.
If Walker continues to struggle, expect Quickley to get more active as a point guard supplement, as he earned 27 minutes on Wednesday night, nine more than the big free-agent acquisition.