Milwaukee Bucks Game Preview: The 1st Annual Anthony Mason Invitational Tournament

The Bucks head to Madison Square Garden tonight in their throwback alternate mid-90s uniforms, looking for a win and a bounce-back game from Brandon Jennings.

Milwaukee has fared well against some of the better teams of the Eastern Conference this year — they are 10-6 against the East’s current playoff seeds — but they have not fared well against the Knicks in recent contests.  The Bucks have lost their last three games against the Knicks.

Jennings, who was ejected for arguing a call after a disappointing result against the Bulls, should be working against Jason Kidd tonight.  Kidd, who sat out Wednesday’s game against the Magic with a sore back, said he was “hopeful” about playing against the Bucks, while coach Mike Woodson expected him to start and play somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes.

Projected Lineups

Knicks: Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Luc Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders

Injury Statuses:

Kidd is officially listed as questionable. Larry Sanders is listed as probable after missing the Chicago game for illness.  Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby are out with foot injuries.

Some numbers

Much of the Bucks’ success this season could be attributed to “ugly winning” — pushing up the tempo to a frantic, mistake-prone level and winning the turnover battle.  Don’t expect that against the Knicks.
The Knicks have a shot at lowest team turnover percentage in NBA history.  With a TOV% of 10.9, they are tied with two other past teams for the lowest-ever percentage of offensive turnovers. Their three-guard, small-ball attack does a wonderful job of protecting the ball, while still forcing a high number of turnovers from their opponents.
Offense Four Factors Defense Four Factors
Rk Team MOV SRS ORtg DRtg Pace eFG% TOV% ORB% FT/FGA eFG% TOV% DRB% FT/FGA
6 New York Knicks 4.42 3.96 111.0 106.2 90.5 .512 10.9 24.8 .190 .508 14.8 75.2 .211
16 Milwaukee Bucks -0.34 -0.79 103.2 103.6 94.3 .473 13.1 28.6 .184 .479 14.7 70.6 .209
League Average 0.00 0.00 105.4 105.4 91.8 .492 13.8 26.9 .204 .492 13.8 73.1 .204

Though it may seem a daunting task,  Jennings and Monta Ellis need to hound the ball the way that they did in recent wins over Portland and Detroit.  Just because the Knicks haven’t turned the ball over much this season doesn’t mean it’s a task not worth pursuing.  The Bucks won’t win this game if it’s a slower, grinding, halfcourt game.

And those uniforms?  Jason Kidd has seen those before.  He was around to witness the original versions firsthand (as was Camby… and Wallace… and Kurt Thomas too).

Tags: Brandon Jennings Jason Kidd Milwaukee Bucks New York Knicks Throwback Uniforms

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