Bucks kick off homestand vs. Knicks

MILWAUKEE -- Malcolm Brogdon will remain in the starting lineup Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks kick off a three-game homestand against the New York Knicks at the Bradley Center.

Brogdon has been a big contributor for the Bucks and one of the best rookies in the game. He leads all first-year players with a 42.8 percent shooting percentage from beyond the arc -- seventh overall in the league -- and is averaging 10.0 points and 4.1 assists, putting him third and first, respectively, among rookies.

So it's no surprise then that Brogdon, a second-round pick in last summer's draft, has started to earn consideration for Rookie of the Year honors, along with Dario Saric and Joel Embiid, both of the Philadelphia 76ers.

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"I think Embiid is a very special, talented player," Bucks coach Jason Kidd told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "If he was playing he probably would have run away with it, because he is a dominant player.

"This isn't up to me; the writers get to vote. It will be interesting. I think there's a lot of great basketball talk around the water cooler or in the barber shop about rookie of the year, the MVP race.

"It just shows the state of the game is in a good place."

The award would be nice, but Brogdon has other goals in mind.

"I don't actually care," Brogdon told the paper. "I don't worry about it. All I care about is making the playoffs.

Milwaukee is still trying to chase down a postseason spot but has done much to help its cause, winning three straight and seven of its last 10 contests. That leaves the Bucks in 10th place, 1 1/2 games behind Chicago for the eighth and final spot but only 2 1/2 games out of sixth place in the league.

With three straight games at home, the Bucks have a chance to make a move.

"It's going to be 6 through 12; you look at those teams and they're all right there," Kidd said. "Everybody is going to start playing each other from here on out. Every game means something. We go out west and those games are important, too.

"We can only control what we do. We can't control what other teams are doing."

The Knicks come to Milwaukee 12th in the East, 5 1/2 games behind the Bulls and are likely jockeying more for ping pong balls than postseason positioning. They're riding high after rallying late for a 113-105 victory Monday at Atlanta which snapped a two-game losing streak.

New York played that game without forward Carmelo Anthony, who sat out with a sore left knee. The Knicks had their lost 12 straight games without Anthony in the lineup.

He expects to return to action Wednesday.

"It was just better for me to just rest it and get these days," he told the New York Daily News.

The Knicks have won four of the last five season series against the Bucks. The teams have spilt the first two meetings this season, with each winning on its own home court.