The New York Knicks come into their NBA matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks off the back of consecutive victories over the Washington Wizards. The Milwaukee Bucks have been in commanding form since the NBA All-Star break and have won 8 of their last 9 games. Their winning streak was finally broken by the Boston Celtics the last time around.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has seen a dip in form, with the likes of Khris Middleton and multiple fringe players taking charge for the Milwaukee Bucks in recent games. Jrue Holiday has been defensively astute, although his shooting has been inconsistent in recent matches. For the New York Knicks, the likes of Julius Randle and RJ Barrett have been in top form, although they have had their struggles offensively against the better teams this season. On the flip sides, the New York Knicks have the third-best defense in the NBA this season.
New York Knicks vs Milwaukee Bucks - Prediction
On paper, the Milwaukee Bucks have three of the best defenders in the NBA with the likes of Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. The reigning NBA MVP is due a huge performance and sat out of the Milwaukee Bucks’ victory against the Indiana Pacers.
The Bucks have seen some efficient performances from a number of players, with the likes of Donte DiVincenzo and Brook Lopez all coming good in recent games.
The New York Knicks have impressed as well and came back from a huge deficit in their last victory over the Washington Wizards. While the Milwaukee Bucks will go into this matchup as the clear favorites, it could end up being a close affair.
New York Knicks vs Milwaukee Bucks - Combined 5
Point Guard – Jrue Holiday | Shooting Guard – RJ Barrett | Small Forward – Khris Middleton | Power Forward – Giannis Antetokounmpo | Center – Julius Randle
The New York Knicks have a number of injury concerns, with the likes of Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock all doubtful for the match against the Milwaukee Bucks. Jrue Holiday is the obvious candidate for the point-guard position, considering the two-way impact that he can have on games. Holiday is averaging 15.9 points, 5.1 assists and 1.7 steals, and is also due a couple of big offensive performances.
Although RJ Barrett generally starts at small forward, he has the capability to play as the shooting-guard. Khris Middleton has been lethal in recent games and he takes up the SF position in this combined 5. Barrett is the second-most prolific scorer for the New York Knicks this season and will be required to put up numbers against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Khris Middleton’s two-way impact and recent scoring form mean he walks in at the SF position, with Giannis Antetokounmpo taking up his preferred PF position. The two-time NBA MVP is expected to lead his side to a potential championship this season, and is still producing some incredible numbers.
Finally, Julius Randle slots in at center. The All-Star has been the New York Knicks’ best player and is averaging 23 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. His 3-point shooting has seen a huge improvement this season, and Randle is converting 42.3% of his shots from deep.