Milwaukee Bucks (Scott Skiles) 3-5
Inactive: Chris Douglas Roberts, Michael Redd, Darington Hobson, Carlos Delfino
Atlanta Hawks (Larry Drew) 6-2
Inactive: Maurice Evans, Pape Sy
Game Time: 6:00 PM (CST)
TV: FS Wisconsin
The Other Guys: Hoopinion
Jeremy is out today. Today’s preview will be a shortened version without prediction. I am an extremely superstitious person and refuse to do any jinxing.
Brandon Jennings vs. Mike Bibby
Yesterday, Jeremy wasn’t confident enough to give Brandon the nod over Felton. I didn’t necessarily agree, but Jennings rollercoaster start was noteworthy. The end result: Jennings 19pts/6a/5r, Felton 10pts/8a/0r. A strong showing for Jennings usually means today he’s due for a bad game. However, Bibby is getting old, and so long as Jennings hawks (pun intended) Bibby at the perimeter, this should be a clear advantage for the good guys.
John Salmons vs. Joe Johnson
Salmons is still struggling from the field, going 3-8 from the field. He will have his hands full with Johnson, who is putting up Tyreke Evans numbers (20/5/5), but is making LeBron James money. Still, with Salmons slow start, we might not see many minutes for the Fish if JJ gets hot.
Luc Mbah a Moute vs. Josh Smith
Moute may or may not guard Josh Smith, depending on Joe Johnson’s level of el fuego. Regardless, Smith is shooting well from the floor (50%), and has decided to shoot threes again, making a shocking 40% early on in the season. Expect big minutes from Moute, who will end up guarding whoever gets going early, and whoever is clutch late. But we know what we get from Moute, and his defense doesn’t outweigh the talent of Josh Smith, love him or hate him.
Drew Gooden vs. Al Horford
Purely an on-paper positional matchup, Gooden will most likely guard Jason Collins, and not Al Horford. With Marvin Williams out, Collins is expected to get the start. Gooden showed signs of life last night going 4 for his first 5, and then came crashing down, going 1 for his last 10. The Bucks will need his 1st quarter energy and precision throughout this game. Horford recently signed a 5 year/$60 million extension with the Hawks, and is averaging nearly a double double at 17.1/9.6. His mid-range game may create matchup problems for Bogut, who would prefer to be in the paint to crash the glass.
Andrew Bogut vs. Jason Collins
Jason Collins has made a name for himself in the league as a scrappy defender. A poor-mans Kurt Thomas, if you will. Bogut should be able to eat him alive, that is if the Hawks don’t stick Horford on Bogut, that is. Bogut should have a chip on his shoulder for this one, as it is his first crack at the Hawks after missing round one of the playoffs last year. Look for him to be agressive from the tip to the final buzzer.
Ersan Ilysova, Corey Maggette, Keyon Dooling, Earl Boykins and Jon Brockman
Jamal Crawford, Zaza Pachulia, Josh Powell, Etan Thomas, Jeff Teague and Jordan Crawford
If Jamal Crawford continues to shoot poorly from three (26.7%), the Bucks could really benefit from denying him the ball from anywhere inside the three point line. He’s still getting his with 15.7ppg mainly due to his 92% free throw percentage. Outside of that, the Hawks have lots of big, warm bodies. Zaza Pachulia usually finds a way to play well against his former team. If Maggette can get some bigs into foul trouble, and Ersan can become Delfino Jr. or Bogut Jr., we could have a great game on our hands.
Brian Matzat is a contributor to Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter. Then become a fan of Bucksketball on Facebook (click in the sidebar).