It is finally here. The Bucks home opener. Milwaukee is once again buzzing with the anticipation of the Bucks’ season beginning. Let’s take a look at tonight’s opener against the New York Knicks.
The Bucks will be short-handed on the roster tonight. O.J. Mayo is nursing a hamstring injury in which Jason Kidd decided the best course of action would be to sit the game out and recover. The Bucks are also without star player Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is serving a one-game suspension from when he got into an altercation with the Bulls’ Mike Dunleavy in Game 6 of last year’s playoffs. Jabari Parker also continues to be held out as he recovers from his torn ACL injury.
Nonetheless, that is not going to deteriorate the energy that is going to be corralled in the Bradley Center tonight. The Bucks are coming off their best offseason in franchise history, which included passing a new arena and bringing in the biggest free agent of the team’s history in Greg Monroe. One thing is certain in Milwaukee, and that is that Bucks fever is back.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are coming off one of the most putrid seasons in franchise history, a year in which they only tallied 17 victories. It was rough sailing for Derek Fisher in his year of head coaching. However, despite such an awful season last year, Knicks fans are discovering reasons as to why they should be excited for the new year to begin.
You cannot mention the New York Knicks without mentioning Carmelo Antony first.. A year after signing a four-year $100 million contract, the window of Anthony being traded mid-season to a title contender definitely exists. Now, don’t take our word for it, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it did happen. The Knicks are in a rebuild mode now, and if they can’t win with Carmelo Anthony on their team, they may very well try trading him to a contending team for some pieces of youth. It will be interesting to see how Melo performs against the Bucks tonight.
The Knicks received the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and with that pick, they selected Kristaps Porzingis, a seven-foot power forward from Latvia. Porzingis possesses numerous strengths when it comes to his style of play. He has the ability to score down low on the post due to his versatile mobility. His height does him well on defense, making him into a solid rim protector against opposing big men. Despite being a seven feet tall, Porzingis is able to knock down shots off the perimeter with a quick trigger. Look for him to be aggressive against the big men of the Bucks.
New York also selected Jerian Grant, a rookie out of Notre Dame in this year’s draft. Keep an eye out to see how many minutes he will play as a backup to Jose Calderon, as he was acquired in a deal that sent away Tim Hardaway.
As for the Bucks, it will be intriguing to see how Jason Kidd rolls the dice with his starting lineup with a number of players unable to suit up. Assuming Khris Middleton gets bumped to the three position to open up a spot at the shooting guard, it’s our best guess as to figure out how the Bucks will look when they take the floor tonight. One possible solution is throwing Greivis Vasquez, a player who has starting experience, into the backcourt with Michael Carter-Williams. That move would also expand the spacing on the floor, as Vasquez is a threat from three-point range. Kidd may even turn to the rookie Rashad Vaughn for his first career start. As for the other forward position, Chris Copeland seems to be a nice bet to make. He would be starting against his former team and could provide some experience in rattling the rookie Porzingis in his NBA debut, while also adding a spark from outside with his three-point shot.
The Knicks are without Arron Afflalo (hamstring), Kevin Seraphin (knee) and Lou Amundson (back).
New York Knicks (0-0 away, 0-0) vs Milwaukee Bucks (0-0, 0-0 home)
October 28, 2015
7:00 pm CT
Fox Sports Wisconsin | AM 620 WTMJ
New York Knicks Milwaukee Bucks
Jose Calderon PG Michael Carter-Williams
Sasha Vujacic SG Greivis Vasquez
Carmelo Anthony SF Khris Middleton
Kristaps Porzingis PF Chris Copeland
Robin Lopez C Greg Monroe