This this Knicks-Bucks game is supposed to have a playoff-like intensity, right? Maybe both teams forgot that people actually play defense in the postseason.
New York and Milwaukee combined to shoot 57 percent in the first half. Neither team exhibited much effort on the defense end.
The Knicks hit 60 percent from the floor, getting a balanced effort with three starters scoring at least 13 points.
Milwaukee was led by Monta Ellis' 21 points. Ellis was bottled up by Iman Shumpert in the teams' last meeting at Madison Square Garden. But Ellis got his shot off at will on Wednesday, at times on Shumpert.
Mike Dunleavy continued to be a Knicks killer, getting 16 points off the bench. He went 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.
MELO HURT? Carmelo Anthony winced and grabbed his right wrist before a trip to the line in the second quarter. That's obviously a concern for the Knicks because it's his shooting hand. Anthony stayed in the game and didn't appear to be greatly affected by the wrist.
He finished the half with 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting.
SMITH'S STRUGGLES: Milwaukee has always been a tough place for J.R. Smith to play. Entering Wednesday's game, Smith was shooting .354 from the field at the Bradley Center in his career (23-for-65). Only three active players have a lower career field-goal percentage in the building.
Smith's personal Milwaukee nightmare continued on Wednesday.
The Knicks reserve guard struggled mightily in the first of the New York's most pivotal game to date. He went 1-for-4 with two bad fouls. It might seem insignificant, before you read this: the Knicks were minus-16 when he was on the floor, coughing up all of their 14-point lead.
He also fell prey to the Milwaukee crowd. They chanted "5-4-3-2-1" -- a reference to the shot clock winding down. So Smith took a shot when they got to one. The problem with that? There were still four seconds to go on the actual shot clock.
EMPTY NEST: Again, this is supposed to be a big game, right? We don't have official attendance numbers yet, but the Bradley Center is no where near capacity tonight. There are large swaths of empty seats -- particularly in the upper deck. The Brewers played earlier today in Chicago, so fans can't be there. Maybe the Packers are practicing or something.
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