Coming off of a three-day break and three straight wins, you would have expected a better performance from the Milwaukee Bucks against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. That didn’t happen!
So now, the Bucks return home to face the New York Knicks looking for a bounce-back win as they kick-off another three-game homestand. If it feels like they’ve played the Knicks a lot, it’s because they have! This will be their fourth and final meeting with the Knicks this season, having gone 2-1 in their previous three games this season. Milwaukee won the last two games, both in New York, by a combined 27 points.
The Knicks have not been very good as of late, losing five of their last six games. They haven’t been able to build off of last season’s success and find themselves right on the fringes of the final play-in spot, in danger of missing the playoffs entirely. Still, it’s been a weird season for the Bucks and you never know when they could have a stinker.
Which struggling offense will get going tonight between the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks?
Points will certainly be at a premium tonight between the Bucks and Knicks, with both teams coming in with sputtering offenses.
In each team’s last 12 games, the Bucks sit 22nd in offensive rating at 109.7 and the Knicks are 24th at 108.3. The Bucks did recently 133 points against the Sacramento Kings, but that’s sandwiched between two sub-100 point performances. That being said, they’re still 10th for the season and have proven more than capable of being a really good offense, especially when the big three are playing.
The Knicks have been dreadful on offense basically all season, however. They’re 24th for the season at 108.1 and in their last six games have an offensive rating of 103.3 (third-worst in that time).
A big reason why they’re struggling so much is their offensive engine from last season, Julius Randle, has seen his production drop off big time this season. He’s averaging 18.7 points on 50.8 percent true shooting after averaging over 24 points on 56.7 percent true shooting last season. His usage rate has even gone down as well so it’s not as if he’s seeing a bigger role that has made him less efficient.
They have other avenues for offense (R.J. Barrett is averaging over 23 points in his last nine games), but Randle is the bellwether for the Knicks’ offense.