Knicks: OG Anunoby shines defensively in big win over Bucks

NBA: New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t the offensive night that New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby was hoping for Sunday night, but he remained composed and put on a great defensive display in the second half of their massive 122-109 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Anunoby recorded four steals and two blocks while having a +7 plus-minus despite scoring just four points (2-10 shooting from the floor). His defensive tenacity was crucial in the second half, as New York outscored Milwaukee 72-48 and took complete control late.

Anunoby had his work cut out for him against the Bucks

Anunoby was given a tough assignment in just his second game back after missing the previous nine with right elbow tendinopathy, as he had to guard MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo for a majority of the game.

While the Bucks superstar still finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds, Anunoby held him to just 10 points on 3-9 shooting in the second half and was instrumental in the Knicks’ comeback win.

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Having Anunoby back is huge for the Knicks

Though the offense hasn’t started to click for the Knicks’ mid-season trade acquisition, having him back for his defense is going to be massive going forward, especially since they will be without All-Star Julius Randle for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.

The Knicks tend to win when Anunoby plays as well, as they are now 16-3 in games he has played in. He also has a positive plus-minus in all 19 of those games he has played in, rounding out to a total plus-minus of a staggering +309, which is the sixth-best in the NBA since Jan. 1 despite missing 27 games, according to StatMuse.

With just four games left on the schedule, this win over the Bucks puts the Knicks just one game behind the second seed, and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one. Up next, the Knicks will head back to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Tuesday and look for revenge after falling to them this past Friday.

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