Christmas Day game at Madison Square Garden. Knicks once again taking flak from fans around the league for being showcased on National TV even though they stink. Coach David Fizdale is showing signs of coaching to start proving himself — he has been taking heat from Knick fans on twitter for being overrated, with the Knicks defense looking miserable and the loses continuing. In this game he benched Frank Ntilikina, and played Trey Burke.
Fizdale said after the game, “Frank has been struggling, Trey (Burke)’s back — Let’s look at it… One guy hits a certain amount of games where he’s struggling, next guy up.”
Fizdale also benched Mario Hezonja to defuse the rematch of Hezonja vs Giannis Antetokounmpo, wherein last game Antetokounmpo tried to block a runaway slam dunk by Hezonja, risking injury, and Hezonja stepped over Antetokounmpo after the dunk, prompting Greek Freak to say after the game that “I’m going to punch him in the (groin) next time.”
Even at the Half; Milwaukee Took Control in 2nd Half
The Knicks played even with the Bucks for the 1st half but then Milwaukee opened up a 10 point lead in the 3rd and won rather easily. Knicks looked like they had no confidence to win in the second half.
- Allonzo Trier was back from injury and was a joy to watch as usual, slicing thru the defense (8 pts in 18 min on 4-10).
- Kevin Knox looked good before the national audience, finishing with 21 points on 8-20 shooting.
- Noah Vonleh 14 pts (4-8), 15 rebounds gave Giannis Antetokounmpo a hard time in the first half but Giannis did well in the second half and ended up with 30 pts and 14 rebounds anyway.
- Luke Kornet was 3-6 from 3 for 9 points in 14 minutes and blocked a shot. He is now first man off the bench.
- Emmanuel Mudiay with a so-so 11 point, 5 assist performance. He had a slam dunk that made the highlights.
- Damyean Dotson played 19 minutes but inexplicably took only 2 shots (1-2 for 2 pts)
- Tim Hardaway Jr was dreadful again — 4-18 for 14 points. There have been so many games where the Knicks were playing even or ahead and then Hardaway has gone into a shooting funk and before you know it the Knicks are down by 10. This game was no different.
For Milwaukee, Malcolm Brogdon (17 points), Eric Bledsoe (11 pts), and Brook Lopez (20 pts) and Thon Maker (12 pts) played well. Knick-killer Kris Middleton with a poor performance (2-12 and 1-7 from 3 for 6 pts).
Tim Hardaway Jr’s last 15 games: