Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis for New York

Mike WalshCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2013

Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis for New York

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    With efficient offense and some late stifling defense, the New York Knicks turned a six-point halftime deficit into a 96-86 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

    The visiting Bucks were in control for the entire first half, before a late third-quarter surge propelled the Knicks in front for good. New York finished their opponent off by holding Milwaukee to just 13 points in the final frame.

    Carmelo Anthony led the way with 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists. It wasn't his most efficient outing, but he did get the job done when it counted. 

    New York was aided by 17 points a piece from reserves Amar'e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith. Tyson Chandler also erupted for 20 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass. 

    Ersan Ilyasova was a handful all night, hitting shots from all over the court. He finished with 19 points, while Monta Ellis chipped in 16. 

    With the Miami Heat falling to the Indiana Pacers, the Knicks pick up a game in the Eastern Conference standings and now sit just a half-game behind the first-place Heat. Milwaukee's loss costs them a game in the standings as well, with the Boston Celtics winning over the Orlando Magic, the Buck's lead for the No. 7 slot is just 1.5 games.

    Let's hit the Bleacher Report classroom and see how the Knicks graded out in tonight's comeback win.

Point Guard

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    Raymond Felton, NYK PG: B+

    Raymond Felton brought his best game to Madison Square Garden Friday night.

    The New York Knicks' floor general has been on an absolute tear since returning from his extended injury absence. Against the Milwaukee Bucks, Felton posted 14 points and eight assists. This was his third straight game with at least 12 points and eight assists. He was also 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

    Felton was in touch with all his teammates for the entire game, working some nice perimeter passing for open threes. He had a couple nice feeds inside to Tyson Chandler as well.

    His plus-15 mark is indicative of how well he played against a very good Milwaukee backcourt. 

Shooting Guard

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    Iman Shumpert, NYK SG: C

    Iman Shumpert's game was relatively quiet, with him seeing only 19 minutes.

    He was able to put up seven points and four rebounds in that short amount of time, but didn't factor into a lot of the proceedings. 

    Shumpert canned a corner three, finishing 1-of-3 from beyond the arc, which is quickly becoming a meaningful part of New York's offense. 

Shooting Guard

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    Jason Kidd, NYK SG: D

    Like Iman Shumpert, Jason Kidd was forced out of the rotation during the New York Knicks' comeback period.

    Through little fault of his own, the bench really got hot for a stretch. Kidd saw only 24 minutes of action. He was 1-of-5 early on, and that is the way things stayed for the veteran guard. All five shots happened to be threes, which is slightly concerning, but has to be accepted at this point.

    Kidd in the starting five is something the Knicks seem pretty attached to at the moment. Whether it continues down the line, or they move to a more traditional lineup, remains to be seen. A lot of these performances though, and Kidd will be finding himself on the bench more and more.

Small Forward

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    Carmelo Anthony, NYK PF: B

    This wasn't the type of shooting night Carmelo Anthony was looking for, at home against the Milwaukee Bucks, but it is the one he got.

    Anthony finished 7-of-22 from the field, a relatively putrid night. He still managed 25 points though, courtesy of 12 free-throw attempts. He was 8-of-12 from the line and managed 3-of-8 threes to get his points up there. 

    From an all-around standpoint, it was pretty clear Anthony did what was needed to win. He tallied eight boards and six assists in his 44 minutes, but turned the ball over seven times as a result of all the ball-handling.

    Anthony had 10 of the Knicks' 27 points in the decisive third quarter. He was a major offensive force when New York made their move to overtake the Bucks. He managed just a pair of freebies in the final quarter.

Center

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    Tyson Chandler, NYK C: A

    Tyson Chandler laid claim to the paint against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. 

    The New York Knicks' center gobbled up everything in sight, on his way to 20 rebounds. On the offensive glass, he was a beast, nabbing eight boards, giving the Knicks opportunities for a ton of second-chance points.

    Chandler was unable to get a lot going offensively, but what he did do was clutch. He finished a huge alley-oop toward the end of the third quarter that visibly put a dagger in the Bucks, despite them still being up two.

    Chandler was the biggest reason the Knicks were able to retake the lead just before the final changeover. He put together an amazing series of defensive stops, allowing the Knicks offense to slide ahead.

    When all was said and done, he managed to get to nine points on 4-of-6 shooting, the majority of which came late in the game.

Sixth Man

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    J.R. Smith, NYK SG: B+

    One of the only players whose shot was falling consistently Friday night was J.R. Smith.

    Smith came off the bench to pour in 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting. He connected on 5-of-13 from behind the arc in 36 minutes. 

    The minutes may have gotten a little long, as Smith shot much better early in the game. He managed a couple clutch shots late, but for the most part, was rimming out his threes at the end. 

    The Knicks are going to live and die with Smith's shooting a lot of nights. He kept them in the game early with his offense, but too much of him isn't usually a great thing. He did grab five rebounds and played to a plus-21, the highest mark of the game.

Bench

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    New York Knicks' Bench: B

    Amar'e Stoudemire continues to embrace his bench role and be a big part of the New York Knicks' recent success.

    The veteran big man saw 24 minutes, including some crunch-time looks Friday night. Against the Milwaukee Bucks, he posted 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting, and pulled in seven boards.

    His scoring was consistent throughout and came up with some big buckets during the Knicks' turnaround. He tallied the first four points of the final quarter.

    Elsewhere, there wasn't a whole lot of minutes going around. Steve Novak hit a three during his seven minutes, while Pablo Prigioni was muted in 10 minutes of play.