Pre-Game Report: New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks
Bucks Projected Starting Line-Up:
PG: Brandon Jennings
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: Carlos Delfino
PF: Ersan Ilyasova
C: Drew Gooden
The New York Knicks will head to Milwaukee for a key game with playoff implications. The Knicks hold a one-game lead over the Bucks for the eight seed and a loss tonight would send New York to the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are coming off a tough loss to the Chicago Bulls, but the players are doing their best to forget the loss and focus on perhaps the biggest game of the season.
The Bucks do not have much going on in their frontcourt as their only true scorer is Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova has the ability to have a big night for the Bucks and on occasion can record a double-double. He is a big man who can stretch the floor with his three-point shooting and can also crash the boards when needed. So far this season, Ilyasova is averaging 13.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. As for Gooden and Delfino, they are two specialty players for the Bucks. Gooden is used mostly for his rebounding and size to battle with the opposing big men. Delfino, on the other hand, is a three-point shooter and can make a major impact on the game if he is on fire. Delfino puts up 9.2 points per game for the Bucks while shooting 36 percent from three-point land.
The Milwaukee Bucks have one of the most explosive backcourts in the NBA with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Ellis was acquired near the NBA trade deadline and has made an immediate impact on this team. Although many doubted these two guards and did not see them coexisting, they have played well and have shared the ball equally. Jennings and Ellis combine for 39 points per game and use their quickness to attack the paint.
Keys to Victory:
1- Defense, Defense, Defense- It is quite simple for this Knicks team, if they play well on the defensive end, they win games. The Knicks have become a defensive threat under Mike Woodson and use their skills on that end to create shots on offense. This is a key game for this squad and they need the defensive to be at a high if they want to win.
2- The role players need to set-up- The New York Knicks did not get much out of their reserves in the game against the Bulls last night, and cannot afford to have a repeat performance tonight. Role players tend to play much better with the home crowd behind them, but they need to be on their A-game for this playoff type match.