A matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks over the past few seasons almost always resulted in a victory for the New York Knicks.
They may have a more difficult time picking up a win in Tuesday night’s meeting at Milwaukee with the Bucks owning a better record.
The Knicks had a seven-game winning streak in the series snapped with a 101-98 road loss Feb. 3 before winning 115-94 in New York on March 15.
Heading into this meeting, the Knicks are 3-8 while the Bucks are 5-5 after opening 5-21 last season. Both teams are led by coaches who only months after playing point guard in the NBA found themselves on the sidelines.
Derek Fisher is in his first season with New York and Jason Kidd is in his first with Milwaukee after coaching Brooklyn to a 44-38 record and a trip to the second round of the playoffs in 2013-14.
Kidd has the young Bucks playing well. They’ve won three of four after a 91-84 victory at Miami on Sunday and will be looking to make it three straight wins at home for the first time in nearly two years.
Brandin Knight made three 3-pointers in the final 3 minutes to cap a 20-point effort against the Heat.
”We want to continue to build off it,” Knight said.
Rookie Jabari Parker added 13 points for the Bucks, who held an opponent to 84 points or less for the fourth time after doing so in four games all of last season.
”You can’t get complacent,” Parker said. ”We’re doing some good things early in the season, but that doesn’t put us in the playoffs.”
Milwaukee’s bench has outscored opposing reserves in every game, including 36-22 on Sunday when the Bucks had six players score in double figures.
”We believe we’re a deep team,” said Kidd, who played his final season in the league in 2012-13 with the Knicks.
New York ended a seven-game losing streak with a 109-93 victory over visiting Denver on Sunday. The Knicks reached 100 points for the second straight game after failing to do so in their first nine while averaging 91.6.
However, the story from Sunday was their defensive play in the second quarter. The game was tied at 31-all after the first, but New York outscored the Nuggets 31-8 in the next 12 minutes.
”I thought in that second quarter we played great defense, buckling down, keeping them out of transition. It led to our offensive end,” said Carmelo Anthony, who had 28 points and made 10 of 14 shots. ”Once we got stops on the defensive end, we felt confident enough to go down there and make some shots and run our offense and do what we had to do.”
J.R. Smith also scored 28 for New York while starting in place of second-leading scorer Iman Shumpert (12.4), who sat out with a hip injury but hopes to return for this game.
"Let’s take this show on the road and try to build off this win," forward Amare Stoudemire said.