Knicks +4.5 at Bucks
The Knicks should play with a lot of energy and clean up some of the mistakes from the last few games in a bounceback spot. Their games vs the Pelicans and Raptors were kind of predictable hangovers – right after big wins vs the Bulls and the Sixers they played the Pelicans on the road without Brandon Ingram and then they played the Raptors at home right after being on the road for a week. I stayed away from them the other night vs the Pacers because Indiana’s trending up with Caris LeVert. But the Bucks have been all over the place because of injuries – Brook Lopez is still out and now so is Middleton. DiVincenzo also. Jrue Holiday is back tonight after missing 5 games but the Bucks are going to need more than him and Giannis’ scoring to beat the Knicks in my opinion. Milwaukee’s been starting George Hill, Grayson Allen and Thanasis and this is just not the roster we watched in the NBA Finals in July. The main thing in this game for me is that Milwaukee’s roster is a lot of guys who have barely played together especially off the bench and with a lot of rotations. The Knicks 2nd unit should win the minutes vs Milwaukee’s bench and Nerlens Noel came back other night so the Knicks have him, Mitch and Randle for size to defend Giannis at the rim. I capped this assuming Giannis has a big game and same for Holiday (even though he could have a little rust early) because I think the Bucks need Middleton to beat the Knicks in this spot – Milwaukee scored 93 vs the Spurs and 95 vs the Jazz last week and lost at home to the Wolves before that. Their bench shot 6 for 28 from three those games (21%). Sure there could be positive regression with those numbers but this bench could also just not be good right now and it be a product of playing very few minutes together with how many changes to the rotation Milwaukee’s had to start the season. Grabbing the points and knowing we’re getting a max effort from the Knicks tonight.