Mitchell Robinson Giannis Antetokounmpo
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks were too streaky in a tough loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

In what Walt “Clyde” Frazier called a “game of runs” on the MSG broadcast, the New York Knicks were killed by streakiness. The Milwaukee Bucks held the lead for most of a XXX-YYY Knicks loss, even as two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to 15 points.

What hurt the Knicks was the Greek Freek dominated with 15 boards and eight assists. Even worse, the Bucks out-rebounded New York 50-37 and sunk an eye-popping 26 threes.

Milwaukee led by 24 at one point. In the fourth quarter, the Knicks tied the game before tripping with the finish line in the distance. Oh, and did I mention Julius Randle and RJ Barrett were on the bench for the whole fourth quarter?

This was a tough, bad loss for the New York Knicks, but just what went wrong?


The starters couldn’t get rolling

It was clear in the first half that the Knicks were out of rhythm. Randle looked good early and Barrett also got some good looks, but the backcourt might as well have been invisible. Evan Fournier had just one basket on the night and Kemba Walker made yours truly miss Elfrid Payton for about two minutes.

Even if the Bucks were due a revenge game after getting cooked at home by New York on Friday, no one expected anything this bad. To have a legitimate MVP candidate and rising star on the bench in a close game says it all. Whatever the New York Knicks had tonight, it just wasn’t it.



The Bucks stampeded

As Frazier mentioned, this was a game of runs. Just when the Knicks seemed to be getting back in the swing of things, the Bucks killed their momentum with a three. Tonight, with Antetokounmpo double-teamed, Pat Connaughton played the hero with a career-high seven threes. Three of them alone came in the fourth quarter, and the New York Knicks had no answer.


There was no real plan

Up until Tom Thibodeau kept the bench players on the floor late in the game, it was clear the Knicks didn’t expect to be playing from behind again. Even after coming back from 21 down to win in Milwaukee last Friday, it was obvious. Everyone just expected a more conventional basketball game this time and didn’t consider what to do if the opposite happened.

New York had better get it together, get healthy, and figure out how to cure the inconsistencies that are ailing this team. The New York Yankees were streaky enough last season. Let’s not get the New York Knicks into similar bad habits.


Player of the Game: Derrick Rose

Once again, the former MVP was the team leader off the bench and helped change the pace of the game. Rose scored 22 points with seven assists and drilled six three-pointers, doing all he could to keep the New York Knicks in the game.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.