Knicks fail to complete comeback and lose hard-fought game to Bucks

NBA: New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Jalen Brunson’s best efforts, the Knicks failed to complete the comeback against the Milwaukee Bucks, as they dropped another close contest and fell to 2-4 on the season in their first play-in game. The Knicks got a 45-point masterclass from Jalen Brunson, having a much-needed bounceback game and bringing his season back to life, shooting 16-29 (57.1%) from the field.

Shooting inefficiency from beyond the arc and a poor shooting night from Julius Randle cost the Knicks another close game, even in a contest they were favored to lose.

Knicks Need Julius Randle to Turn Cold Start Around

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks
Nov 1, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) argues with referee Pat O Connell (90) after being called for a foul during the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle shot just 5-20 from the field, giving the Knicks 16 points and struggling with his on-court body language. The Knicks need their two-time All-NBA forward to figure out his shooting woes, especially with how strong of a start RJ Barrett has gotten off to and the scoring explosion from Jalen Brunson. Randle has struggled before, and it’s possible he could turn his season around at any point now, but fans are noticing the poor on-court body language as well.

If Randle can get things going, the Knicks are going to be a much more efficient and fluid offense, especially with how Brunson and Barrett can have more looks created for them if Randle faces a double team. While he struggled, the Knicks had some impressive performances today on the scoring side of the ball. Quentin Grimes shot 6-11 from the field and 5-10 from three, scoring 17 points and helping the Knicks space the floor, although they shot just 25.6% from beyond the arc.

The Knicks got another strong performance from Immanuel Quickley who scored 14 points on 5-10 from the field, continuing a strong start to his 2023-2024 season. Of course, Jalen Brunson was the Knicks’ best performer, putting on an efficient performance from the field on ridiculously high volume. Shooting 16-28 from the field and going for 45 points, the second-most he’s ever scored in a game, falling three short of his 48-point performance in March against the Cavs.

Milwaukee torched the Knicks from three, hitting 20-39 shots from beyond the arc (51.5%), and it was a 35-point quarter in the second that ended up being the difference for the Knicks in this game. It’s the Knicks’ fourth loss of the season, and they haven’t lost by a margin larger than nine points this season, in the 4th Quarter of this game they held a lead briefly with under 1:30 to go in the 4th, but the Bucks stormed back to close this game out.

They’ll look to grab a win against the Clippers on Monday night against the Clippers at Madison Square Garden, where they’ll try to climb back to 3-4 on the season.

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