New York Knicks vs Milwaukee Bucks 1/28/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Matchup Preview (1/28/22)

New York will play its third game in five days on Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. The Bucks have had a tumultuous season due to injuries and players entering the health and safety protocols; however, they have very few injuries or COVID troubles at the moment outside of Brook Lopez, who still does not seem to have a timetable for return. Milwaukee has been playing better recently, winning three straight games before dropping one to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland has a special squad and is tough to match up with, so this is by no means a bad loss. The Eastern Conference has been very competitive thus far, with no team taking a clear, decisive lead in the standings. Meanwhile, the Knicks have struggled recently, dropping five of their past six games despite consistent play from star guard R.J. Barrett. Barrett has averaged roughly 20 points, eight rebounds, and four assists during that span while shooting 44% from the field and 38% from behind the arc. This game should favor the Bucks, but the current spread of nine points is substantial. Take a look below for my thoughts on the spread and point total in this matchup!

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Betting Odds

There is a nine-point spread in favor of the Bucks at the moment. While Milwaukee should win this game, that is a massive number to cover, even with its aptitude to win in Fiserv Forum. This should be a close game until the end, and even if the Bucks control the game the whole way, a backdoor cover is undoubtedly still in play. Regardless, I’m much more comfortable betting the under this game. New York is dead last in the NBA in PACE, and its point totals have been under 216 points for four straight games. Interestingly enough, the Bucks have failed to even hit the over more than the Knicks, despite New York’s slow pace of play. The value in this game is not tremendous and Milwaukee has not been consistent enough to justify believing it will win by ten points more often than now. Therefore, the under is a solid play, even if you may have to sweat it out.

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TV Schedule

Date: 1/28/22
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Fiserv Forum – Milwaukee, WI
Channel: ESPN

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New York Knicks Starting Lineup

PG: Kemba Walker
SG: RJ Barrett
SF: Evan Fournier
PF: Julius Randle
C: Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks Analysis

The Knicks are in a rut, dropping five of their past six games. Their only win was against the Paul George-less Los Angeles Clippers at home. It’s hard to hone in on just one thing wrong with the Knicks, but the fact that Julius Randle has not been playing great certainly does not help. Randle finished their last game against the Miami Heat with only 11 points, and the week before that, he had four points in 29 minutes of play. Luckily, New York does have one thing to be happy about: R.J. Barrett’s play. Barrett has been terrific recently, and the past month has shown he can fulfill his potential. The bottom-line for the Knicks is this, though: they are just an average basketball team, and until they add a few extra pieces, this is all they will be.

Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Grayson Allen
SF: Khris Middleton
PF: Bobby Portis
C: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks Analysis

Milwaukee has finally managed to be healthy for more than just a game or two in a row. The Bucks have capitalized on this recently, winning three of their past four games. Their only loss was to a very tough Cleveland Cavaliers team. This is not an incredible feat alone, as their wins were all at home. However, it does help that they are back to winning in Fiserv Forum. It also helps that Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing like an MVP this season. Giannis averages close to 29 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists on 53% from the field this season. Still, there seems to be something that is missing from the Milwaukee team that made the Championship run last season. Hopefully, that can be identified and fixed, so we can see another incredible run.

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Daily Fantasy Picks

While I was hyping up R.J. Barrett earlier in the article, this is not a good matchup for him. Barrett has been terrific recently but has struggled in two games versus the Bucks this season. In those two games, Barrett has averaged 14.5 points, five rebounds, and two assists on 38% from the field. The Bucks have started to resemble last season’s team on the defensive end in the playoffs, and Barrett has not had much luck against them this year. Two games are a small sample size, but I would be hesitant to play Barrett in this matchup. Instead, I would look at Obi Toppin, who is back and playing terrific basketball in limited minutes in his past two games. Toppin has played 15 and 21 minutes in his past two games and dropped 13 and 18 points, respectively. Tom Thibodeau surely knows it is time to shake things up, and giving Toppin more tick is a great way to adjust, especially after his incredibly efficient shooting. I would suggest purely taking a flier on Toppin; he is by no means starting material in your DFS lineup. However, if your budget is tight, he could be a solid play for your utility position.

Plugging any player outside of Giannis Antetokounmpo into your DFS lineup is risky: there’s very little consistency in scoring and production outside of him. While Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and even Bobby Portis are capable of dropping 20+ points on any given night, that does not mean these games are easily predictable. Middleton has the best scoring ability of those three mentioned but can sometimes become passive offensively when Giannis is playing well. Additionally, Jrue Holiday is a volume shooter, if there ever was one. Besides Giannis, Portis might be your best option out of all the options available. He has had a solid year for Milwaukee, filling in for Brook Lopez and his minutes. Portis’ ability to shoot from behind the arc and also bang inside is enormous for the Bucks because that was what Lopez was so good at doing.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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