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Game Thread: Hawks/Bucks

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27-19 (9-14 road)

23-27 (13-8 home)
January 31, 2009 - 7:30PM CT
Bradley Center
Radio: 620 WTMJ   TV: FS Wisconsin

Probable starters:

Mike Bibby PG Luke Ridnour
Joe Johnson SG Ramon Sessions
Josh Smith
SF Richard Jefferson
Marvin Williams
PF Charlie Villanueva
Zaza Pachulia
C Francisco Elson
106.4 (10th)
Off 103.4 (19th)
104.0 (15th)
Def 103.2 (12th)
92.6 (21st)
Pace 94.3 (13th)
25.6 (20th)
OReb 29.1 (5th)
71.9 (24th)
DReb 74.7 (8th)

08/09 Series:

Nov. 26: @Hawks 102 Bucks 96

Jan. 23: @Hawks 117 Bucks 87

Injuries

Hawks: Al Horford (bone bruise in right knee) and Speedy Claxton (left knee) are out.

Bucks: Michael Redd is out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL.

  • Hotlanta late. Atlanta is the best fourth quarter team in basketball. They outscore opponents by 2.2 points per game in the game's final 12 minutes. And they've scored big against the Bucks in the fourth quarter in each of the first two meetings this year: 31-29 and 31-20. Secret weapon: Maurice Evans. He's shooting 77.8 % from the field and 80.0 % on three-pointers in the clutch (final five minutes of any game within five point difference). Milwaukee played Toronto evenly in the fourth last night, plenty good enough since they entered with an 11-point lead. They will likely need to carry a lead into the fourth quarter again if they hope to lead at the final buzzer.
  • Happy home. Atlanta has beaten the Bucks twice already this season. They are fourth in the conference. Michael Redd is out. Andrew Bogut is just getting back. The Hawks are very good on offense, while Milwaukee's defense has been slipping of late. Add all of that up, and... the Bucks are favored (by 1.5) to win tonight? Atlanta, of all teams, probably understands why. Remember that they won all three games at home in the first round against the Boston Celtics last season, pushing the eventual champs much more than the Lakers did in the Finals. With that in mind, the Hawks are pushing hard to hold onto the fourth spot in the East, which would give them home court advantage in the first round. The home/away splits are more dramatic for some teams than others. Atlanta is one of the more extreme cases, standing 18-5 at home but just 9-14 on the road. So, comparing to overall records of other teams, the Hawks are sort of like the Magic when they play at home but like the Bobcats when they hit the road. Two very different teams, you might say.
  • Final day of Charlie's month. Charlie Villanueva has one final night to put a finishing touch on a brilliant month of basketball. The numbers so far: 19.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.9 blocks on 51.6 / 42.6 / 84.6 shooting. In January, he's scoring more than Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, and Allen Iverson. And his field goal percentage tops those of Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, and Chris Paul. With a win tonight, the Bucks will break even at 9-9 in January. Considering the injuries to Bogut and Redd, that's at least a moderate success; thank you, CV.

Links

Bucks.com / Peachtree Hoops / Hoopinion / Hawks Str8talk