In what is probably the least appealing match of all the Christmas Day games, unless you’re a Knicks or Bucks fan, a rested Milwaukee team visits Madison Square Garden with revenge on their mind. Earlier this month on December 1st, the Knicks handed the Bucks a surprising loss, 136-134. But New York has only won one game since then and are in a complete nose dive, going 1-9 in their last ten games. For the season, they sit at 9 wins and 25 losses and in 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks, coming fresh off a 114-107 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, are riding a four-game losing streak. Emmanuel Mudiay led the team with 32 points while Kevin Knox poured in 24. The team started off strong, pulling ahead with a 15-point lead in the second quarter but the Hawks took over in the second half for the easy win. Knicks shot a respectable 48 percent from the field, but Atlanta featured a full team effort as seven players reached double figures. The Hawks who are also on the verge of an abysmal season at 9-23 were led by Kent Bazemore’s 22-points and double-double by John Collins, scoring 17-points with 16-rebounds.
For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokoumpo will look to get some personal revenge of his own against Mario Hezonja in this match. In their previous match, Hezonja stepped over him after a dunk causing some tense on-court moments. After the game, Antetokoumpo said he would punch him where the sun doesn’t shine next time that happens. Something to keep an eye on during the game.
Milwaukee is a team with a high-powered offense, ranking right below the champions Golden State Warriors and NBA win leader Toronto Raptors in offensive efficiency with 109.9 points per 100 possessions. New York has been just the opposite, giving up a whopping 110.1 points per 100 possessions. The Bucks come into this game winners of 6 of their last 8 games and in second place in the Eastern Conference. On Saturday, their 4-game win streak was stopped by Miami Heat while they put up a season low 87 points with Giannis Antetokoumpo having his worse game of season, scoring only 9-points. The tone was set from the very beginning in that one, with the team scoring only 8-points in first quarter, then cutting a 17-point deficit to one before the Heat pulled away for the victory.