If the Knicks are already in a "crisis" as coach Mike D’Antoni stated after Wednesday’s loss to the Phoenix Suns, where would a Friday loss to the lowly Milwaukee Bucks put them?
Not only have the Knicks lost four straight games and currently sit at 6-8, they have looked poor against some bad teams along the way. Wednesday’s loss against the Suns proved that the Knicks are totally lost offensively at the moment. Carmelo Anthony, perhaps hampered by wrist and ankle sprains, had one of his worst shooting days as a Knick. Amare Stoudemire continued to shoot poorly too, and the Knicks got just three total field goals from their razor-thin bench. This was against a bad Suns squad that had just been blown out in Chicago the night before.
On Friday the Knicks have another shot at temporarily righting the ship, and again they’ll go up against a less-than-intimidating opponent. The Bucks enter the game just 4-9 on the season, and they’ve been winless in eight tries away from home. Milwaukee is ranked 19th in the league in points allowed per game and are 21st in Defensive Rating (points allowed per 100 possessions, via basketball-reference.com) However, the Bucks have had the Knicks’ number as of late, winning 10 of the past 12 matchups between the teams. Brandon Jennings always seems to like playing against the Knicks who, surprisingly to some, passed on him in the 2009 draft. Jennings averages 20.5 points against the Knicks in his career, well above his career average.
The Bucks are the type of defensive team that scorers like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire should be able to exploit easily. They are also one of the league’s worst offensive teams, and coach Scott Skiles is having a tough time co-existing with volatile shooting guard Stephen Jackson. But when an underwhelming team comes to Madison Square Garden these days, the Knicks seem to play polite host. The teams find themselves in similar situations early in the year, despite vastly different expectations.