New York Knicks: Grades and reactions to annihilation by Bucks

The New York Knicks fell apart against the Milwaukee Bucks, losing yet another game.

There is not much to say about this game. The Milwaukee Bucks came out like a team that’s won 11 straight games, and the New York Knicks came out like a team that has lost its last seven games.

Only one player on the team came out with a plus for the game and that was Bobby Portis, who had a +1. The entire starting five got minus numbers, from Dennis Smith, Jr. to Taj Gibson. There was no sense of urgency or fight in this team and the coaching staff should be alarmed.

The Bucks’ bench donated 71 points to this game compared to the Knicks’ 51. New York scored 15 points in the first quarter and 17 points in the third quarter with just 17 fast break points and only 30 points in the paint. If you don’t think you’re able to play and give the team 100 percent of yourself, why even step on the court?

Here are the grades for the starting five. Not one of them had a plus score on the night:


PG, New York Knicks


Dennis Smith, Jr. was thought to be the starting point guard before the season started. With Frank Ntilikina out with a sore back, this was Smith Jr.’s time to shine and attempt to get his starting job back. He blew it.

The third-year guard played 25 minutes and had four points on 1-for-7 shooting. His three assists were underwhelming and contributing just one rebound hurt, too, leading to the F. His plus/minus was also -28.


SG, New York Knicks


This hurts because RJ Barrett is not used to losing. He’s been on winning teams since he was twelve and being a Knick was his dream come true.  After 21 games in, this dream has to be a nightmare for this young man.

Barrett played for 19 minutes, had two points on 0-for-9 from the field, one assist, no rebounds, but was two of two from the free-throw line. Unfortunately, that was not enough to raise his grade, along with a plus/minus score of -25.


SF, New York Knicks


Kevin Knox was given the opportunity to start with Marcus Morris, Sr. out with neck spasms. If it was his rookie year maybe I could understand this showing, but if he is to be one of the leaders of the Knicks’ future, he must do better than this. After 23 minutes of play, Knox scored five points on 1-of-9 shooting, three rebounds, 0-of-5 on three-pointers and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. His plus/minus score was -37.


PF, New York Knicks


If the young players came in thinking they weren’t going to win this game, Julius Randle should have shown them differently. That no matter who you’re playing you come out and give it your all, always playing to win. Playing hero ball is not showing leadership for the young on this team. With 25 minutes of play, this $63 million man, had 19 points, on five of 12 from the field, one assist, five rebounds, one three-point attempt, nine of 11 from the free-throw line, three turnovers, and four personal fouls. His plus/minus was -31.


C, New York Knicks


The oldest veteran on the team Taj Gibson shows not only why the Knicks need a back-up center, but why it needs a center with experience and leadership ability. With Morris out, there was no one else on the floor leading the team.

Gibson played 20 minutes, had seven points on 3-for-8 shooting, went 1-for-3 on three-pointers and 0-for-2 from the free-throw line. Nine rebounds and two blocks contributed to his plus/minus score of -33.

Other takeaways

  • Kadeem Allen made his 2019-20 debut, playing 15 minutes, contributing nine points on 3-for-6 shooting, including a trio of three-pointers, two assists and one steal.
  • Damyean Dotson came off the bench for 15 points.
  • Allonzo Trier played 11 minutes and had 10 points. He was rusty but it was good to see “Zo” on the floor.
  • Mitchell Robinson seems to have resorted to his pre-Jordan days getting multiple fouls. He had four points, three blocks, and five fouls, three of which happened in the game’s first five minutes.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks led from wire to wire and at one point led the Knicks by 47 points.
Next: 25 greatest players in NYK history

The New York Knicks will return to the court on Thursday, Dec. 5.

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