3 keys as the Milwaukee Bucks try to bounce back vs New York Knicks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 05: (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 05: (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo. New York Knicks: Mitchell Robinson
Nov 10, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks will face another tough interior defense in the New York Knicks

After being held to 15-of-24 shooting at the rim against the Cavaliers’ league-best paint defense, the Bucks are in for another tough game inside against a stout Knicks interior defense.

New York is holding opponents to under 61.8 percent shooting at the rim, the third-best mark in the NBA. That is led by shot-blocking fiends Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel as well as tough veteran Taj Gibson. Noel may miss tonight’s game, but the Knicks still have plenty of options to make life tough inside for the Bucks.

In their first two games this season (a win and a loss), the Knicks held the Bucks to 17-of-34 at the rim before Milwaukee broke out to go 19-of-24 at the rim in their third meeting. In fact, the three games against the Knicks are in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 15 worst games this season by game score.

That is when it becomes imperative that the Bucks’ other two stars (as well as their role players step up). The Knicks allow a ton of 3s so those looks will be there for guys to get catch-and-shoot looks, but they’ll need to take advantage like Pat Connaughton did earlier this year.

In his lone game against the Knicks this season, Khris Middleton scored 24 points on 64 percent true shooting to go along with eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Jrue Holiday is only averaging 13.7 points on 55.8  percent true shooting (he’s 6-of-11 from 3) but does have 14 assists in those three games.

Middleton will need to continue his recent stretch of looking like himself and Holiday will need to be more assertive, especially after putting up four points on 2-of-9 shooting against the Cavaliers, if Antetokounmpo does have another rough night shooting the ball.