- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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NEW YORK -- Less than 24 minutes into his Knicks' tenure, Andrea Bargnani already had some of the fans inside a packed Madison Square Garden groaning.
Bargnani scored just six points in 17 minutes in the Knicks' 90-83 win over the Bucks. Bargnani shot just 3-for-9 and missed all three of his shots from beyond the arc.
"Individually in the first half I struggled shooting the ball. They were all good shots," Bargnani said. "I got to keep making those. I'm working hard in practice. I have to keep playing."
The Knicks acquired Bargnani from Toronto this offseason so they could take advantage of his ability to stretch defenses. He wasn't shy about shooting from long range Wednesday, but he couldn't get his shot to fall in an ineffective opening performance.
He entered the game with 4:02 left in the first quarter and missed his first 3-pointer less than two minutes later. He hit his first shot on a jumper near the free-throw line in the third quarter.
Bargnani is not known for his defense, and he didn't do much on the boards Wednesday as he contributed just two rebounds. He also was sloppy with the ball, turning it over three times. His 17 minutes were the second-most among the reserves. He barely played in the fourth quarter.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he needs to help Bargnani more, and he plans to give the big man more minutes Thursday against Chicago.
Knicks point guard Raymond Felton said his advice to Bargnani is to keep shooting, and as the point guard, he's going to make sure the big man doesn't turn those looks down.
Barganani says it's all a matter of finding his rhythm.
"Not concerned about the offense. Never been a problem. It's a transition. If it's an open shot I'm going to take it," Bargnani said. "I'm still out of rhythm right now. First half I was out of rhythm."
Center Tyson Chandler acknowledged it's not the easiest move coming to New York.
"This is New York. It’s the Garden and it’s the show. Once he gets past all of that he’ll be fine," Chandler said." All of his teammates love him and we think he’s going to be the key. He's going to be huge for us. One of the pieces to the puzzle. We’re just going to keep encouraging him. I thought he played well."
7dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann