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Game Thread: Hawks/Bucks




44-34 (15-24 road)
32-46 (20-18 home)
April 8, 2009 - 7:05 PM CT
Bradley Center
Radio: 1250 WSSP   TV: No local

Probable starters:

Mike Bibby
PG Ramon Sessions
Joe Johnson
SG Charlie Bell
Maurice Evans
SF Richard Jefferson
Josh Smith
PF Charlie Villanueva
Al Horford C Dan Gadzuric
106.5 (11th)
Off (23rd) 103.4
104.5 (13th)
Def (14th) 104.9
92.0 (24th)
Pace (11th) 95.1
26.2 (18th)
OReb (8th) 27.9
71.5 (27th) DReb (10th) 74.2


08/09 Series:

Nov. 26: @Hawks 102 Bucks 96

Maybe we should start calling them the Milwaukee Rasputins; eventually you can kill them off, but it's never easy.  Sadly, the Bucks' tough luck continued in Atlanta tonight as Al Horford led the Hawks past the Bogut-less but resilient Bucks 102-96.

Jan. 23: @Hawks 117 Bucks 87

The revenge of Zaza Island.  Back in 2005 when the Bucks were deciding whether to re-sign Dan Gadzuric and/or Zaza Pachulia, the RealGM gang jokingly termed the Zaza loyalists as members of "Zaza Island" (it preceded "Mo Nation" among the Bucks' nation-states).  Well, you know the story by now.  The Bucks signed Gadzuric--who in fairness was a very productive role player in 04/05--to a $36 million deal while letting Pachulia walk for a far more reasonable four years, $16 million.  Gadzuric proceeds to regress almost instantly, and of late he's been mostly miserable despite having ample opportunity to prove himself with Bogut out.  Meanwhile Pachulia at least maintains some dignity.  You can guess how things went tonight.

Jan. 31: @Bucks 110 Hawks 107

At multiple points the Bucks looked on the verge of turning the game into a blowout, but each time the Bucks made a run the Hawks inevitably seemed to answer. The game was tied at 22 late in the first when the Bucks went on an 18-0 run that featured seven points each from Villanueva and Bell--including a half-court buzzer beater to close the first.  But Atlanta answered with a 17-2 run later in the second to close the gap to just 53-48 at halftime.

Then things started to get a little heated near the end of the third.  Bogut stole a pass and dished it up ahead to Jefferson, who was inadvertently raked across the face as a Hawks defender (I forget who) went for the ball near midcourt.  Jefferson went skidding into the scorers' table as the ball bounded out of play, yet somehow all three officials missed the foul.


Hawks: Marvin Williams (strained lower back), Speedy Claxton (left knee), and Acie Law (lower back spasms) are out.

Bucks: Michael Redd (torn ACL and MCL) and Andrew Bogut (stress fracture in lower back) are out. Francisco Elson (strained right hip flexor) is questionable.

Three Points

  • Hawk talk. Seven Hawks scored in double digits to propel Atlanta past the Raptors 118-110 in Toronto last night, snapping a three-game slide in the process. Now the Bucks hope to end a three-game losing streak of their own, as both clubs aim to reverse recent bad fortunes. Milwaukee's recent struggles are well-documented in thousands of words on this page, and Atlanta has only won twice in the past two weeks. While the Bucks have faded into last place in the Central and mathematical elimination from the playoffs, the Hawks are on the verge of avoiding trouble. Atlanta has been entrenched in the East's four spot seemingly all year long; not quite good enough to contend with the big three, but plenty strong to keep distance from the interchanging bottom bottom in the playoff picture. Leading Miami by three games, they are close to finally wrapping up fourth place. In doing so, they will maintain home court advantage in the first round, a mighty big deal to a team that wins almost twice as often at home (29 wins) as on the road (15).
  • Quarterly report. Atlanta is bad in the first quarter (-1.4), pretty good in the second (+0.6), mediocre in third (+0.2), and the very best basketball team in the NBA in the fourth quarter (+2.5).
  • Hot against Atlanta. Charlie Villanueva is on track for career highs in points (16.3), rebounds (6.7), and assists (1.8). He also boasts personal-best free throw (.842) and three-point (.342) percentages this season. CV has slowed some early this month, but history is on his side tonight: In 12 career games against the Hawks, Villanueva is shooting 55.4 % from the field, his top mark against any team.

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