All these homecomings: Bucks – Hawks Preview
What to Watch For: Bucks
Some players are simply beloved in a certain city, no matter where they played before or have played since. Zaza Pachulia is one such player. Atlanta still loves him. It’s probably a good thing for them, then, that he’s worked his way into the Bucks’ starting lineup, giving the city plenty of chances to cheer on their favorite ex-Hawk. Larry Drew will also be returning to Atlanta for the first time since joining the Bucks. I’m sure he’d love to come in and get a win against his former employer, but it’s likely he’ll have to settle for a good showing instead.
What to Watch For: Hawks
At 12 games under .500, the Hawks are incredibly still hanging on to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. You’ll probably recognize it, because that’s where the Bucks were hanging around for the last several years. Despite an impressive series of injuries, the Hawks are still fending off the Detroit Pistons for the honor of facing the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs this year. Fending off may be a bit strong for a description of what the Hawks have been doing lately though. Atlanta is a sub-Bucks level 2-14 over its past 16 games. Yikes.
In addition, we’ll likely get to see the first game that Jeff Teague plays against the Bucks after signing an offer sheet in restricted free agency this summer. He missed the first meeting on January 25 with an injury but will likely play in this matchup and has played a huge role in the Hawks’ league-leading 25.3 assists per game. Oh, what could have been.
Time – 6:30 p.m. CST
TV – Fox Sports Wisconsin
Radio – 620 WTMJ
Bucks: Ersan Ilyasova (ankle; questionable), Ekpe Udoh (knee; questionable)
Hawks: Jeff Teague (ear; questionable)
PG Nate Wolters
SG Brandon Knight
SF Khris Middleton
PF John Henson
C Zaza Pachulia
PG Jeff Teague
SG Kyle Korver
SF DeMarre Carroll
PF Elton Brand
C Pero Antic
Choose the form of the Destroyer: Paul Millsap
One of the rare players to emerge from the crapshoot of the second round and become an All-Star, Millsap has also become a leader for the Hawks since Al Horford sustained a season-ending pectoral injury. In his seventh year, Millsap is putting up a career-best 17.6 points to go with 8.2 rebounds and showcasing himself as a shooting threat with a respectable 36.5 3PT% on the year. That range will test the defensive abilities of whomever the Bucks place up against him; if Kevin Love’s performance on Tuesday evening was any indication, they’ll need to improve in that aspect to keep Millsap in check.
Prediction: Hawks 102 – Bucks 92
Categories: Game Previews