(Photo : Sarah Stier/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Giannis Antetokounmpo (#34) of the Milwaukee Bucks dribbles against Julius Randle (#30) of the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden on January 09, 2023 in New York City.
NBA’s pocket tourney has shown flashes of excitement in the preliminary rounds, and quarterfinals are now in full swing with two games to go to determine its first-ever winner.
The Bucks vs. Knicks NBA In-Season Tournament game is the third pairing that will have fans at the edge of their seat.
The two teams are both from East Group B. Milwaukee Bucks finished at the top with a clean record, while the Knicks finished with a 3-1 loss.
The game will be played at the Fiserv Forum and televised nationally on ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV at 7:30 P.M. ET.
Bucks vs. Knicks NBA In-Season Tournament Odds
The Bucks are -5 favorites to win the game in BetMGM and FanDuel.
Moneyline: Milwaukee -246, New York +202
Chance to win: Based on the Moneyline, the Bucks have a 77.1 percent implied probability to win.
Bucks vs. Knicks NBA In-Season Tournament Preview
Knicks have won seven of their last nine games, with two losses by just a small margin.
The Bucks won eight of their last 10, and in most of those wins, they had to scramble in the fourth to pull off the victory.
This will be the two team’s second meeting for the season, with the Knicks coming out on top in the first one. They are set to play each other two more times this month.
Both teams have found their rhythm in the past week, showing tenacity each to get the win despite trailing in the fourth to opponents.
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The Knicks are led by Jalen Brunson (24.9 ppg) and Julius Randle (20.4 ppg), who recovered from his slow start to the season by scoring 20, 29, and 25 in his team’s last three wins.
The Bucks also had a sluggish start as they tried to figure out their offense. Their groove is back, and they now share the second spot in the Eastern Conference with the Orlando Magic.
Giannis Antetokounmpo said some things about how the Bucks are Damian Lillard’s now, but his output each game disputes that. He currently averages 29.9 per game, along with 10.8 rebounds. Lillard puts up 25.5 points per game.
While the duo has been dynamic individually, the Bucks’ defense can still do better, as seen in their loss to the Chicago Bulls and struggles against supposed weaker teams.
This is the reason why Knicks can’t be counted out just yet.
Bucks vs. Knicks NBA In-Season Tournament Pick
The game is expected to be close due to the Bucks’ struggles in the first three quarters. Still, they are projected to come out on top for a chance to play in the Eastern Conference finals of the tournament.
The Bucks love playing in Fiserv Forum (9-1), and Giannis and Dame will be too much for their visitors.
The Knicks can pull an upset if they can exploit the Bucks’ slow start, and Randle will be on top of his game.
Prediction: Bucks 126-115 Knicks
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