Bucks 100, Knicks 95: Terrible First Quarter Haunts Knicks in Loss to Bucks

-- SB Nation New York's Jeff Freier rips Carmelo for throwing his coach under the bus and abandoning his teammtes Friday night. --Head on over to Posting and Toasting for more Knicks coverage.

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Bucks 100, Knicks 95: Miserable First Quarter Sets Tone For Knicks Loss

The New York Knicks came into today’s game in Milwaukee against the Bucks in desperate need of a victory. But if you were beamed down to the Earth from another planet with no prior knowledge of either team, and saw the first quarter, you would have thought the Knicks were a team playing out the stretch. New York played its worst quarter of the season in the opening frame, being outscored 32-9. The Knicks fought valiantly and got back into the game, but never tied the score and eventually fell 100-95. The Bucks’ Carlos Delfino had a career-high 30 points, hitting six 3-point shots.

Amare Stoudemire led the Knicks with 25 points and 11 rebounds, but hoisted 28 shots in the process. Carmelo Anthony, fresh off his worst game as a Knick on Friday night, had 23 points but did little else. Interestingly enough, New York’s defense was not the main reason they lost the game. Giving up 32 first-quarter points to a low-scoring foe like the Bucks is never good, but the Knicks’ offense was plain awful in the first and fourth quarters. It remains apparent that the flow and chemistry between the new stars simply isn’t there yet, and the offense is suffering, as is the team’s record, which now sits at 35-34.

The loss dropped the Knicks below the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference standings, where the Knicks are now in seventh. It will not get any easier, as the Knicks host the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic later this week. Since they acquired Anthony and Chauncey Billups, New York is just 7-8.

Final - 3.20.2011 1 2 3 4 Total
New York Knicks 9 32 31 23 95
Milwaukee Bucks 32 15 28 25 100

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New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks: Knicks, Anthony Try to Rebound In Milwaukee

The story of Friday night's loss to the Detroit Pistons was the disappearance of Carmelo Anthony, both on the court and after the game. Anthony scored just six points on 2-of-12 shooting, and after the game, blew off the media, not wanting to explain his awful, silent night. Today when the Knicks visit the Milwaukee Bucks, Anthony get a chance to answer those questions ad silence his critics. If there was ever a time in his young Knicks' career for Anthony to take over and win them a game, it has to be today. 

The Knicks come into today's game just percentage points ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, thanks to the Sixers' loss last night to the Portland Trail Blazers. A loss puts the Knicks in seventh, and with two tough games coming uo against the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic, it could see them in seventh for a long time. The Knicks need this win today, against an inferior opponent, if they have any plans of staying in the six slot. 

Inferior as they are, the Bucks are a tough team to beat in Milwaukee. They are terrible on the road but have a respectable 18-17 record on their home floor. The Knicks always have trouble containing Brandon Jennings and the size of Andrew Bogut; well, they seem to have trouble defending anyone with either size or remedial offensive talent. But the story of today's game, like it was last time, is Anthony. How will he respond to his miserable, forgettable night? 

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