By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
Knicks vs. Bucks | BMO Harris Bradley Center
When: Wednesday | 8:00 PM
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 98.7 FM
New York (7-17): The Knicks experienced both insult and injury in Monday night's loss to the Wizards at MSG. Not only did John Wall and Bradley Beal lead Washington to victory in the game's final seconds, but New York also lost Pablo Prigioni to a broken toe and, it turns out, Amar'e Stoudemire to knee swelling. Help is on the way in the form of All-Star center Tyson Chandler, who returns from a broken fibula, but the team will have to find a way to replace Prigioni's leadership.
Milwaukee (5-19): While some teams are "struggling" this season by choice, Milwaukee's misfortune seems to be a stroke of luck. Injuries have piled up, and subsequently so have the losses, but with a loaded draft approaching, many have begun to suggest that favor is finally on the Bucks' side after years of toiling in mediocrity. They could field a competitive starting five with their veterans on the injured list, but the silver lining has been playing time for promising young players like John Henson, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nate Wolters and Khris Middleton.
The Numbers Game
Before Monday's game, which Prigioni departed early in the 3rd quarter, the Knicks had compiled a record of 20-4 with the Argentine floor general in the starting lineup since last year.
Matchup to Watch
Carmelo Anthony vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Reports say that the 19-year-old Greek phenom is on the verge of moving into the starting lineup for Milwaukee, perhaps as soon as tonight. This is very exciting for basketball fans. Initially considered a long-term project, the 6-9 (for now -- doctors project him to keep growing) wing with the 7-foot-plus wingpsan has shown as a rookie that he can do it all and deserves playing tme NOW. Like Melo when he plays the 4, Giannis has big man size but likes to face up and play on the perimeter. Per 36 minutes, he's averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds.
What to Look For
Chandler's return will be the main story, as the Knicks are in dire need of an anchor in the paint; Kenyon Martin will be out a few weeks with his abdominal injury and Stoudemire's knee history makes his tiemtable for return murky. With Chandler starting, Andrea Bargnani will come off the bench... Look for Beno Udrih and potentially rookie Toure' Murry to step into the void left by Prigioni... One of the positive takeaways from Monday: J.R. Smith's awakening from downtown (five made 3-pointers).