Knicks Trampled by Bucks
All I heard was one name: Andy Rautins. I quicky mashed the PREVIOUS button on my DIRECTV remote control before I could hear any more or, even worse, see the game score. But those four sylables told me everything I needed to know about the in-progress Knicks-Bucks game. It wasn't close.
I had recorded last night's game on the DVR because my best gal and I were embroiled in the heretofore unheard of Date Night (which has been collecting dust on the coffee table in its Netflix envelope for weeks) and 28 Days Later (a choice inspired by the opening scenes of the first episode of The Walking Dead on AMC) movie doubleheader.
As any sports fan who has recorded a game they were going to view late knows, you've got to make sure that your television isn't tuned to the channel in question before you turn your attention to whatever is necessitating the late start. Fail on my part. Because the game popped on midstream when we turned off the second movie. Before I was ready to start viewing the Knicks-Bucks game, I already knew that Rautins was seeing his first game action of the young season.
Of course, I didn't know if this was good news or bad news. And with the Knick visiting Milwaukee it wouldn't have been hard to imagine either team running off with the game. Led by emergent point guard Brandon Jennings (who could have been a Knick had he not turned off Donnie Walsh and the staff by skipping a tryout) and Aussie center Andrew Bogut, the Bucks reached the playoffs last year. The Knicks, meanwhile, are greatly improved from last season. On paper, I'd say these are a pair of evenly matched teams, likely to be vying for one of the last playoff spots come April Fools Day.
Knowing that a blowout was potentially in the offing, Amar'e Stoudemire's dunk to stake the Knicks to an early 2-0 edge seemed monumentous. As did Ray Felton's ensuing four-point play (made jumper plus the harm with an extra technical by Jennings thrown on top).
My brief glimpse of the future of this game had me wondering how quickly the Knicks would be dining on venison. Soon enough, though, Drew Gooden of all people set me straight. He rattled off a few buckets in short order to get the home team out in front. And then came the onslaught. Bogut, Jennings and Gooden were joined by John Salmons and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in running the Knicks off the floor. Bunches of layups were followed by flurries of jumpers. Tips ins begat free throws. And by the time the buzzer buzzed on the end of the first quarter the score was 19-41.
The only surprise was that it took until the fourth quarter for D'Antonit to call on Rautins. This was a Bad News Bears performance from yesteryear's Knicks. I don't meant this next comment as a disservice to Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles or the any of the talented and industrious Bucks players, but the early action reminded me of the Jets-Lions game from this past weekend. The snowbelt home teams came out with ice chips on their shoulders and took it to the higher-wattage players from the Big Apple. I know that the Jets managed to salvage the win but there was no doubt in the first half that the Lions were the aggressors. Same song and dance in Milwaukee. Jennings and Bogut were the aggressors. For his part, Rautins went 1-2 from three-point territory in his NBA debut, finishing with just those 3 points in 8 minutes of action.