New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Friday, November 05, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at Fiserv Forum
New York Knicks
New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau did what he promised when he took over the team last season. He took a perennial lottery team and guided them to the playoffs simply by creating sound defensive schemes and getting each member of the team to commit to them.
The Knicks’ suffocating defense served them well in the regular season but it was the lack of offense that caused them to come up short in the first round of the playoffs. They were proactive in addressing this weakness, adding Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier in the offseason.
The additions have changed the identity of the team from a defensive stalwart who lacked scoring power to a balanced team. They now can shut opposing teams down on the defensive end, but they have more scoring punch.
Kemba Walker is a native New Yorker and seems to be relishing his time performing in front of his hometown fans.
The Knicks (5-3) are led by All-Star Julius Randle. Randle leads the team in points, rebounding, and assists, averaging 21, 11, and 6 respectively.
New York is currently fourth in the league in points scored and has a net rating of 2.6. While the increased pace of the team has led their points against metric to be much higher than last season, they can still play solid defense and are sixth in the league in blocked shots at 6 per game.
The Knicks will be looking to end a two-game losing streak. On Monday they lost at home to the Raptors 113-104. On Wednesday they traveled to Indiana and lost 111-98. It was one of the Knicks worst offensive performances this season as they made only five 3-pointers. Kemba Walker had a disappointing game going 2-11 with just 4 points.
New York will be eager to get back to their winning ways. They cannot afford to fall too far behind in an Eastern Conference that has surprising depth throughout the conference. Both teams should be up for this one and we will be in for a fantastic game.
The Bucks (4-4) are off to a slow start but looking at their injury report, it is completely understandable. The Bucks have been missing three out of the five players in their starting lineup as of late.
Khris Middleton will be out with Covid until at least November 14th. Fellow starters Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez will be game-time decisions. The Bucks hope to have Holiday and Lopez back to shore up their elite defense.
The Bucs are led by Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis leads the team in scoring, rebounds, and assists, averaging 27, 11, and 6 respectively. Giannis is an elite athlete and has a fantastic work ethic. He has immensely improved every season throughout his stellar NBA career.
Giannis is already fantastic at getting to the rim and making short jump shots. He is now working on adding a long jumper and a 3-point shooting to his incredible offensive arsenal.
The Greek Freak is a fantastic team leader who chose to stay in Milwaukee and win a championship with the team that drafted him, rather than run and form a super team. Giannis has earned respect around the league for his work ethic and loyalty.
With Holiday, Middleton, and Lopez out, the Bucks have been relying on George Hill, Jordan Nwara, Bobby Portis, and Pat Connaughton to pick up the slack. Hill is a nice backup point guard but does not have the elite defensive skills of Holiday.
The Bucks definitely miss the injured Holiday at the point of attack. Lopez is the prototype for the "stretch 5" center as he can block shots, work in the post, but also sink 3-pointers. The Bucks definitely miss his versatility.
Milwaukee hopes to tread water until they get fully healthy. Even in this diminished capacity, they are still a threat to beat any team at any time.
Julius Randle vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both stat-stuffing power forwards are vital to their team’s success. Both teams initiate their offense through them and rely on them for defensive rebounding to complete a successful defensive possession.
While they might not often be guarding each other, they will be dueling on the offensive end towards the end of the game. Whichever star player is able to shoot more efficiently and set up his teammates in the fourth quarter will end up with the victory.
The Bucks are reported to have Holiday back in this game and I think the NBA odds reflect that. At -5 I believe this indicates that Holiday will play even though he is listed as a “game time decision”.
With Holiday I believe the Bucks have the firepower to win and cover the spread. Giannis will be the best player on the floor and have a big advantage down the stretch. Today’s best bet at BMR's top-rated sportsbooks is the Milwaukee Bucks.
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