WHAT IT MEANS: Since the big trade, the Knicks are a below-.500 team. That's the bottom line 15 games into the new era of playing with two superstars, as the Knicks were held to their lowest-scoring quarter of the season when they managed just 9 points in the first quarter. They came back and twice pulled within a point in the third quarter, and the fourth quarter was competitive the entire way through but New York couldn't get the stops they needed to have a shot at the end. The Bucks scored on eight of nine possessions to close the game after the Knicks pulled to 85-82, and New York lost its second in a row despite getting 20-point games from Amare Stoudemire (25), Carmelo Anthony (23) and Chauncey Billups (21).
TURNING POINT: It was definitely the second quarter, when the Knicks came back from their lowest-scoring period of the season and pulled within six at the break. The Knicks shot just 3-for-20 in the first quarter and committed just a single turnover. They forced eight turnovers in the second stanza to fuel their comeback.
DIFFERENCE MAKERS: All of them were wearing Bucks uniforms. Carlos Delfino had a career-high 30 points and made six 3-pointers, the last of which put Milwaukee ahead 91-84 with 1:44 left. And Luc Richard Mbah a Moute defended both Anthony and Stoudemire and still managed to fill the stat sheet with 19 points, eight rebounds, 13-of-13 free-throw shooting, three steals and three blocks. The Knicks got just 13 points from their bench, with Toney Douglas shooting 3-for-13.
THE STARTING FIVE: Coach Mike D'Antoni used yet another new starting lineup, using Shelden Williams as his starting center instead of Jared Jeffries just two days after he said he planned to leave Jeffries in that role for the next several games. "Just looking for a little more size and strength in the mddle. In the long run we’re going to have to have that, so we’ll look at it," D'Antoni said. The Knicks have used six different starting lineups in the 15 games since acquiring Anthony and Billups from the Denver Nuggets. For the second half, Ronny Turiaf replaced Williams.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks' stretch of four games in five nights concludes with the toughest game of the bunch, against the Boston Celtics, who have fallen into a tie with the Chicago Bulls for first place in the Eastern Conference by losing to the Nets and Clippers, among others, over the past two weeks.