The New York Knicks suffered their fourth consecutive home loss on Wednesday, this time at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks in a grueling 109-103 defeat in the back end of a back-to-back.
This game was far from the prettiest from a shooting standpoint, as both teams combined to shoot just 24.6% (16-65) from 3.
The story of the game was the Knicks having their worst 3-point shooting performance of the season (20%) the night after having their best 3-point shooting performance (45.7%).
“It’s a make-or-miss league.” Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We missed.”Tom Thibodeau on the Knicks’ shooting struggles on Wednesday
RJ Barrett and Obi Toppin were the only efficient Knicks’ shooters from long distance, as Barrett went 2-4 and Toppin went 2-5.
The rest of the Knicks players had nights they would want to forget, as the others combined to shoot just 2-21 from downtown, including Julius shooting just 1-8 from deep range a night after shooting 6-13 from outside the arc.
The Knicks were in good shape to win the game when Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with 37 points, fouled out with 47 seconds remaining, and the game tied at 103 apiece.
However, after falling down 3 to a tough long-distance bucket by Grayson Allen, RJ Barrett quickly hoisted up a 3-pointer with 22 seconds that hit the back of the rim and missed, which would end up being the final blow to another heartbreaker.
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With the Knicks struggling from outside all night, many were wondering why didn’t the Knicks go for a quick two and then play the foul game.
Thibodeau said in his postgame press conference that he wants to look at the film before making a final judgement on the late-game shot attempt but acknowledges that Barrett may have had a good enough look to take it.
“I wanna look at [the game film]. I like that in the open floor if [Barrett] got a good look.Tom Thibodeau on RJ Barrett’s missed 3-pointer late in Wednesday’s game
The Knicks could not pull off the victory despite playing tighter defense
The Knicks held the Bucks to just 10-35 (28.6%) from 3-point range on Wednesday. Given that the Knicks have been atrocious at guarding the three this year, this defensive performance should’ve been one they took advantage of and pull off an upset against a title contender.
Despite the tough loss, there is cautious optimism to have about this Knicks’ defense, as in the back-to-back, they allowed opponents to shoot just 31.1% from outside.
The tenacious defense that New York played tonight helped keep them within striking distance the entire game. If this trend continues, and the offense turns it around, the Knicks could be in much better shape to close out games with wins.
The Knicks’ journey ahead of them does not get easier, as they will take on another MVP candidate in Luka Doncic when they take on the Mavericks on Saturday.
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