Date: March 13, 2014
Tip-Off Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV Channel: SportSouth (Local in Atlanta), NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates
Live Stream: League Pass Broadband
The Hawks have been needing a win for about a month. Atlanta only picked up two wins in the entire month of February and after dropping their first four games of March, the Hawks had lost six games in a row and 14 of their last 15 contests. With many teams not even trying at this point, the Hawks might have been the coldest team (with the exception of Philadelphia) in the entire NBA. Fortunately, the Hawks ran into the Utah Jazz on Monday night and despite almost completely giving back a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter the Hawks held on late, 112-110.
As healthy as they are going to be from here on out, the Hawks will have to play with the group that they have now. Al Horford, Jon Jenkins, and Gustavo Ayon are all done for the season, but the Hawks have regained the services of Paul Millsap and Pero Antic, who are both back contributing in big ways for the team. Millsap threw in 23 points in his homecoming to Utah on Monday night on 7-14 from the field. Kyle Korver dropped in 26 points against his former team, and has made seven three point field goals in a row.
Going through a brief stretch against teams that are at the bottom of their conference, the Hawks will look to pick up essential victories, but one key will be the resurgence of Jeff Teague. Teague has shot just 32.5% over his last four games. During a four game stretch at the end of February and the beginning of March, Teague averaged 27.25 points per game, but has fallen back to just 10 points per game over his last four games.
The Hawks will look to make it two wins in a row tonight at home against the Bucks. At 13-51 on the season, there is no other way to put it than that the Bucks are bad. For all intensive purposes, the Bucks are strictly focused on the future, and perhaps the most important piece of that future is the lottery number they get in next years NBA draft and the player that they will take with that pick. The Bucks are led by Brandon Knight, who might’ve been a steal in the Brandon Jennings sign and trade last summer. Knight leads the Bucks in nearly every offensive category, averaging 17.6 points per game and five assists per game. Knight is also almost always on the court, playing just over 32 minutes per game. An interesting name to keep an eye on is, Giannis Antetokounmpo. No not because the name is interesting, but because Antetokounmpo is one of the top rookies in the league. In his first year out of Greece, Antetokounmpo is averaging seven points and four rebounds per game, but seems to throw in a highlight reel type play every single night.
This is just the second meeting of the year between the two clubs. Back on January 25th the Hawks blew the Bucks out in Milwaukee by 25 points. In a game that the Hawks played without Jeff Teague and Al Horford, the Hawks dominated the Bucks scoring 112 points and dropping in 13 three pointers on 26 attempts. The Hawks were led by a whole cast of members in double digits scoring, but the highlights were Millsap’s 20 and Lou Williams 18 off the bench.
The Bucks are allowing 102 points per game, and one possible reason for the three-point barrage in their last meeting is that the Bucks ar ethe worst team in the league at defending the three-point line. Allowing their opponents to shoot 38.6% on the season from beyond the arc, look out for Kyle Korver (the leagues best,) Millsap, Carroll, and Antic all to get a lot of open looks from the three-point line tonight.
The “experts in Las Vegas have listed the Hawks as 8.5 point favorites back in their home building, and anything less than a comfortable victory would be a disappointment.
Be sure to follow us on twitter (@ATLBeatBlog) and stop by tonight after the game for a full recap.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks