Friday, March 9, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Pre-Game News and Notes March 9th

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks 8:30 P.M. ET 

The Knicks look to end a 3 game losing streak tonight in Milwaukee against a Bucks team looking to bounce back after a tough loss Wednesday in Chicago. For a second game in a row, Tyson Chandler will not be playing because of a hamstring injury he suffered earlier in the week. Iman Shumpert will also be moved back to the bench out of the starting lineup because of the Chandler injury. The Bucks beat the Knicks earlier in the season 100-86 behind 36 points from Bucks Point Guard Brandon Jennings. 

-Inconsistent Rotation 
The Knicks again will be without Tyson Chandler and Jared Jeffries because of injuries. This causes yet another shakeup of the Knicks lineup and rotation. The Knicks will trot out their 3rd different starting lineup in as many games, going with Jeremy Lin, Landry Fields, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Josh Harrellson. Iman Shumpert will move back to the bench, along with J.R. Smith, Baron Davis, and Steve Novak. Expect a spirited effort from Novak tonight as he is playing in front of family and friends returning to Milwaukee where he was born and raised. 

-Can Knicks Contain Brandon Jennings 
Since Brandon Jennings was passed up by the Knicks in favor of Jordan Hill in the 2009 NBA Draft, he has torched the Knicks to the tune of 20.1 points per game. In the eight games, the Knicks are 1-7 against the Bucks, with the lone win coming in Carmelo Anthony’s Madison Square Garden debut last season. Overall, the Bucks have taken 11 of the last 13 games from the Knicks. For the Knicks to win tonight they have to contain Jennings. He scored a season high 36 points in the first meeting this season in a blowout win for the Bucks. 

-What Happened to the Defense? 
The Knicks have struggled recently on the defensive end of the court, with the drop coinciding with the return of Carmelo Anthony. While Melo was sidelined, the Knicks gave up 90.2 points per game and in the seven games since that average has jumped to 102.1 points per game. During that seven game stretch the Knicks are 2-5. The Knicks also allowed 94 points per 100 possessions during Anthony's absence (which includes the win over Utah as Anthony played just six minutes due to injury). In the last seven games, the club has allowed 100.6 points per 100 possessions, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Bucks are 18th in the NBA in offensive efficiency, so the Knicks will have to tighten things up if they hope to come out with a victory against a team they have struggled mightily against. 

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