Milwaukee Bucks: 3 matchups to watch for versus New York Knicks

Dec 27, 2020; New York, New York, USA (Mike Stobe via USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 27, 2020; New York, New York, USA (Mike Stobe via USA TODAY Sports) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 27: (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 27: (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks will kick up the second half of their 2020-21 season when they host the New York Knicks Thursday night at Fiserv Forum.

Having won six of their last seven games going into the All-Star break, the Bucks are hoping to carry their fine form as they kick off their post-All-Star break schedule. The Knicks, meanwhile, went into the break on quite the run by having four of their last five games and currently stand fourth in the East with their 19-18 record.

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New York struck first in the three-game season series between the two clubs as the Knicks handed the Bucks one of their worst losses of the season so far back on December 27.

With that in mind, the Bucks will look to overcome their defeat to the Knicks from more than two months ago and take care of business against one of the most improved teams this season. Who knows, maybe this will be a playoff preview of sorts?

So without further ado, let’s some of the premier matchups that dictate the clash between the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks.

First matchup to watch for between Milwaukee Bucks vs. Knicks – The battle of All-Stars

The Bucks’ meeting with the Knicks will feature recent All-Stars, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Julius Randle, squaring off against each other just as they had done down in Atlanta.

Coming off his All-Star Game performance where he was crowned this year’s MVP after a perfect 35-point performance, Antetokounmpo went into the break playing incredibly dominant basketball. The Bucks certainly reaped the rewards as a result and hopefully continue to as they search for lasting consistency going into the second half of the season.

Randle offers the Bucks a taste of their own medicine, especially as he’s been enjoying such an improved campaign that led to his first All-Star selection. Over his 37 appearances on the year, Randle is averaging 23.2 points on .483/.408/.805 shooting, 11.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 36.7 minutes per game.

First-year Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has turned to Randle as the Knicks’ workhorse, as evidenced by Randle having the highest total minutes of all players. Along with that, the Kentucky product has vastly improved his scoring efficiency by shooting a career-high 3-point percentage as well as assists.

Both Antetokounmpo and Randle have the offensive reins tilted towards their respective strengths. With the Bucks and Knicks standing fourth and third in the league in terms of allowing the fewest opposing paint points per game, which team will stand better in being able to dictate the paint will be critical in the outcome between both sides.