Knicks @ Bucks 8:30 PM
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM
New York: Just when the Knicks were healthy and fielding a deep squad, the injury bug hit once again. Tyson Chandler is day-to-day after missing the game against San Antonio due to a strained left hamstring. Jared Jeffries will miss the next couple of games with a sore right knee, leaving the New York frontline without its two best interior defenders. The loss of Chandler is a big one, considering the strides the team has made on the defensive side of the floor. New York is searching for a win to return home with some good vibes after dropping the last three contests on the four-game road trip. The final game on Friday night is extremely important as the playoff scenarios become the topic of conversation around the league. The Bucks and Cavaliers only trail the Knicks by three games for the No. 8 position and cutoff point for the postseason.
Milwaukee: The Bucks have been up and down all season but still find themselves in a position to chase the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. At 15-24, Milwaukee is going through a brutal stretch of games against teams inside the conference, including ten straight opponents out in the East. Hosting New York on Friday will mark the final home contest before the Bucks hit the road for back-to-back games in Toronto and New Jersey. Milwaukee is dealing with injuries as center Andrew Bogut is sidelined until at least mid-March with a left ankle fracture. Forwards Stephen Jackson and Luc Mbah a Moute are day-to-day after missing Wednesday’s game against Chicago.
Last Time Out
New York: For the second straight games, New York made a late rally but fell short in San Antonio with a 118-105 loss to the Spurs. Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points in the defeat and the Knicks scored 64 second half points.
Milwaukee: Derrick Rose sunk a step-back jumper over Brandon Jennings for a game-winner in Milwaukee on Wednesday. Despite a career-high 32 points from Ersan Ilyasova, the Bucks fell 106-104.
The Numbers Game
Jeremy Lin averages an impressive 21.8 points and 7.6 assists per game after one day of rest.
Match-up to Watch
Jeremy Lin vs. Brandon Jennings
The life of a starting NBA point guard is a challenge on a nightly basis. On this current four-game road trip, Lin has faced Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd, Tony Parker, and will conclude the series of contests against Brandon Jennings. Milwaukee’s offensive-minded point guard dropped a season-high 36 points in New York on January 20 and owns a 7-1 record against the Knicks since his first year in the league. Lin will have a difficult challenge as Jennings is lighting quick off the dribble and a streaky left-handed shooter from the perimeter.
What to Look For
In the Bucks 15 wins, they average 102.5 points per game and are obviously a much more dangerous team when Jennings and company reach the century mark. Speaking of the “company”, New York will have to be aware of a relatively unknown at the power forward position for Milwaukee. Illyasova is quietly posting big-time numbers over the last 10 games, averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 52.2 percent from the floor in just 33.9 minutes of action.