Bucks/Hawks: Preview

Bucks (24-45, 6-28 road, 13th East) @ Hawks (30-40, 21-13 home, 8th East)

Gametime: 6:00 PM CT
TV: FSN Wisconsin/League Pass/NBA LP Broadband
Radio: 620 WTMJ/Stream Free @ NBA.com

Bucks Stats: Offense 21st (102.3 pts/100 poss), Defense 30th (109.2), Rebounding 16th (.503 rr), Pace 20th (93.2)
Hawks Stats: Offense 20th (102.6 pts/100 poss), Defense 17th (105.0), Rebounding 9th (.507 rr), Pace 17th (93.4)

Bucks Lineup: Mo Williams / Michael Redd / Desmond Mason / Charlie Villanueva / Andrew Bogut
Hawks Lineup: Mike Bibby / Joe Johnson / Marvin Williams / Josh Smith / Al Horford

Bucks Injuries: Charlie Bell is out at least two weeks with a sprained MCL.
Hawks Injuries: Speedy Claxton has been out all year with a knee injury.

07/08 Series: Bucks 2-1. The teams have held serve at home, the Bucks winning 105-96 on November 17 and 87-80 on January 16. The Hawks won at Phillips Arena on November 28, 96-80.

Key Points:

  • After their solid home win over the Cavs on Saturday, the Bucks threw it all out the window by losing for the second time in a week to the Miami Heat, 78-73. The Bucks can now proudly claim to be the only team to lose twice to the lottery-leading Heat. Larry Krystkowiak was predictably not impressed:

    "Turning the basketball over, not sharing it, 11 assists in the game," Krystkowiak said. "We had that many assists in the first 10 minutes of our last game. Defensively, I wasn't that disappointed. Giving up 78 points is going to win most games. But offensively it was a lot of one-pass shots. We didn't play together. It's very difficult if we don't play as a team. We didn't have a sense of urgency on offense. It showed in some of our turnovers and it showed in some of our shot selection.

    "It's not easy basketball to watch from an offensive point of view."

    Mo Williams and Michael Redd didn't seem interested in letting anyone else touch the ball in the second half, with the pair combining for 12 turnovers vs. just six assists. That was in stark contrast to the Cavs game, when Williams had 13 assists and just one turnover.

  • The Hawks on the other hand have been playing better of late, winning four of six in spite of their 103-94 loss last night in Chicago. Josh Childress scored 22 on 8/11 fg off the bench.
  • While the Mike Bibby acquisition might get more headlines, Joe Johnson has been the guy really stepping it up for Atlanta. The Hawks' only all-star is averaging 26.4 ppg, 6.5 apg and 4.7 rpg including 50% shooting from three point range in March. In three games against the Bucks, however, Johnson is averaging just 15.7 ppg on .379 shooting from the field.
  • Mike Bibby isn't exactly earning his $14 million salary, shooting a shade below 40% each of the past two months while scoring just 14 ppg. His assists are up in March, however, to 6.8 apg, and he scored 20 along with eight assists and six boards in Saturday's win over Orlando.
  • Oh, what might have been: had the ping-pong balls bounced the way they were supposed to, Al Horford would have been a Buck. Instead he's averaging a near double-double in Atlanta.: 9.8 ppg and 9.8 rpg. Going into Tuesday's game against Chicago, Horford had posted three consecutive double-doubles, averaging 14.3 ppg and 13.3 rpg. Just as impressively, he's shooting 56% from the field and 87% from the line since the all-star break. Of course he's a rookie, so last night's 1/5 fg, 3 point, 13 rebound, 4 turnover effort isn't altogether unsurprising, either. Defensively, he couldn't contain Drew Gooden in the first half and was also outplayed by former Florida teammate and fellow rookie Joakim Noah.
  • Things haven't been so rosy of late for Marvin Williams. After averaging 16.3 ppg before the break, Marvin's minutes are down from 36 to 30 mpg and his scoring has dipped to 11.2 ppg. One of Williams' biggest strengths is getting to line, but that's also dropped notably, from 6.1 fta/game before the break to just 2.9 since.
  • Andrew Bogut continues to struggle with putting the ball in the hoop (.464 fg%) since the all-star break, but his raw numbers are tough to ignore: 14.6 ppg and 11.9 rpg in 14 games. He's also owned the Hawks this year, averaging 20.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg and 4.0 bpg on 61% shooting. Horford's not a bad defender and has good size for a PF, but Bogut should be too big for him on the low block.
  • Since scoring 26 points against the Jazz on March 12, Charlie Villanueva has scored 30 points in the last four games combined. In that span, he's shot just 13/47 from the field (.277) while attempting just four free throws. For the season Villanueva continues to attempt more threes than free throws (149 vs. 124). Perhaps OK if you're Rasheed Wallace, not so much if you're Charlie Villanueva.
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