The New York Knicks (2-3) meet the Milwaukee Bucks (2-2) this Friday (11/3/23). Get Knicks vs. Bucks moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchup below.
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction
Jrue Holiday and Jevon Carter are elite point-of-attack defenders, while Damian Lillard is a completely ineffective defender that cannot navigate ball screens in the slightest. Therefore, although Milwaukee upgraded offensively, their defense is now an utter mess to the tune of the 29th best Defensive Rating.
Jalen Brunson has severely struggled with his shot to start the year, but he remains a deadly pick-and-roll ball handler that can consistently create advantages against Milwaukee’s sloppy perimeter defense. The Knicks rank third in drives per game and sixth in pace adjusted open plus wide open three-point attempts per game, so their drive-and-kick game will be extremely strong here against Milwaukee. As a result, New York’s offense should achieve desirable shot quality; it’s just a matter of whether the Knicks can finally rediscover their outside shot.
Defensively, New York (second in Defensive Rating) has the chops to at least pester Milwaukee. Per Basketball Index’s metrics, Quentin Grimes ranked sixth in perimeter isolation defense and third in ball screen navigation. He can take the Damian Lillard assignment and somewhat slow him down. Meanwhile, Mitchell Robinson (3.2 steals plus blocks per game) owns the size to man the paint and challenge Antetokounmpo’s rim threats.
Finally, New York’s deep bench can slash a Milwaukee lead if it occurs. When Jalen Brunson sits, Milwaukee’s horrendous perimeter defense will still be under assault by Immanuel Quickley and Donte DiVincenzo. Whether it’s isolation scoring or off-ball shooting, the duo can terrorize the Bucks. Factor in Isaiah Hartenstein’s connective passing and ability to bang with Bobby Portis in the paint, and New York should at a minimum break even during the bench minutes.
Overall, New York has the matchups to keep this game within six points at a large enough frequency.
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction: Knicks +6.5
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New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Best Odds
The Bucks are favored by nearly seven points in this matchup. For New York’s +220 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, they must win this matchup about 31% of the time. The 227.5 total is on the larger end due to Milwaukee’s efficient offense and wretched defense.
New York Knicks Starting Lineup
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Injuries
RJ Barrett (21 PPG) is a game time decision but leaning towards doubtful in this contest. For Milwaukee, rookie Andre Jackson Jr is questionable. The injury report definitely favors the Bucks.
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Key Matchups
The Knicks rank second in offensive rebound rate due to Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle. They are collecting second chance points and subsequently boosting New York’s offense. Although Antetokounmpo and Lopez appear to be formidable on the glass, Milwaukee is only 14th in opponent offensive rebound rate. They need to relentlessly box out here, or the Knicks will steal possessions.
Through five games, Randle owns dreadful 27/25/64 shooting splits. The Knicks are coming up empty on far too many possessions because of his misses, which cannot continue if they are to defeat Milwaukee. RJ Barrett’s likely absence only magnifies the issue too. With Halloween in the past, hopefully Randle will stop scaring New Yorkers with his inefficient offense.