The New York Knicks will square off with the Milwaukee Bucks in the quarterfinals of the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament. Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and the Knicks now have the worst odds to win the entire thing after the Indiana Pacers (the team that entered with the worst odds) took down the Boston Celtics (the team that entered with the best odds) on Monday. Can the Knicks do the same and slay the now top-favored Bucks?

New York booked its spot in the Knockout Round by finishing 3-1 in the Group Stage and finishing with a plus-42 point differential to earn another matchup with Milwaukee in the NBA In-Season tournament. The Bucks dealt the Knicks their only defeat in the tournament — a five-point loss that saw Damian Lillard activate Dame Time down the stretch to clinch the win and ultimately clinch East Group B.

The Knicks trailed for most of the night but stormed back and even momentarily took the lead with over a minute left after Jalen Brunson nailed a go-ahead triple. Unfortunately, they were not able to hold on as Lillard did Lillard things in the clutch.

Nonetheless, Brunson was a one-man wrecking crew that game. He had a monstrous evening with a season-high 45 points on 17-of-30 shooting. Unfortunately, Julius Randle put up a massive stinker with a 5-of-20 shooting night for just 16 points.

Nevertheless, Tuesday presents an opportunity for the Knicks to avenge their loss to the Bucks last month and go all the way in winning the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament. Here are some reasons why.

Why Knicks will win the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament

Knicks defense has been on lock down

The Knicks will hang their hat on their defense to get them to Las Vegas and become the first team to lift the inaugural NBA Cup. New York boasts the third-best defensive rating in the NBA and is No. 1 in opponents' points per game this season. In the In-Season Tournament alone, they are No. 1 in both defensive rating and opponents' points per game. They are also the only team in the In-Season Tournament to allow less than 100 points per game.

Knicks are surging offensively as well

Since their loss to the Bucks earlier this season, the Knicks have won 10 of their last 13 games and are currently tied with the 4th best record in the Eastern Conference standings. After a slow start to the new campaign, the team is finally re-establishing its identity as one of the best defenses in the NBA — which is exactly the way head coach Tom Thibodeau wants it.

Since November 6th, when they started their 10-3 stretch, the Knicks have also boasted the 7th best offense in the NBA. Not only is Jalen Brunson putting together an All-Star worthy campaign, Julius Randle has also joined the fray and looks much-improved from his historically horrendous start to the 2023-24 NBA season. In his first six games of the campaign, Randle shot 27.1 percent from the field. That is by far the worst shooting stretch of any NBA player in their first six games of the season since 1959.

Since then, however, Randle has turned things around. In 13 games, the lefty has shot 47.0 percent and is averaging 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. It's no coincidence that the Knicks' surge happened when two-time All-Star turned around his season as well. And if Randle plays much better Tuesday night, the Knicks have a good chance of upsetting the Bucks.