Saturday, March 15, 2014
W2W4: Knicks vs. Bucks
By Ian Begley
Here are a few things to keep an eye on during Saturday's Knicks-Bucks game:
Going streaking: Phil Jackson has dominated the news cycle for the past week or so. But the Knicks have dominated the court.
They've won five in a row and are looking for their season-high sixth straight on Saturday afternoon against Milwaukee.
The last time the Knicks played the Bucks, they lost in miserable fashion on Feb. 3. That loss was one of the worst in a stretch in which they lost 13 of 15.
Since then, New York has climbed back into the playoff race.
Carmelo Anthony & Co. enter play Saturday 3 1/2 games back of the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks with 16 games to go. Only two teams since 1984 have rebounded from deficits of more than five games with less than 25 to play. The Knicks, who were six games out with 21 to go, are trying to become the third.
Bucks are bad: The Knicks (26-40) have played extremely well in their recent five-game streak, shooting 50 percent from the floor and scoring 114 points per game.
If they can duplicate those numbers on Saturday, it's hard to see them losing against the Bucks (13-52).
Milwaukee has lost four straight road games and is shooting just 15.8 percent from the beyond the arc in its last two games, per STATS LLC.
The Bucks will have to deal with Amar'e Stoudemire on Saturday. Stoudemire missed Wednesday's game as a precautionary measure to protect his oft-injured knees.
The veteran forward has been a key to the Knicks' recent surge, scoring 18 points per game over his last five contests.
Not morning people: The Knicks are 0-7 in games that start before 3:30 p.m. Saturday's game against Milwaukee tips at noon.
"You know, mental than anything. We’ve got to come out from the gate and push ourselves through it, not try to think and put it in our minds that it’s an early game," Anthony said after practice on Friday. "We can’t do nothing about the early game at this point, so we might as well come out and try to get it going early."