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Hawks/Bucks: Former playoff foes back at it in Milwaukee

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2010/2011 NBA Season
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29-16 (15-9 road) vs. 16-26 (9-10 home)
January 26, 2011
Philips Arena
7:00 PM
Radio: 620 WTMJ TV: FSN Wisconsin
Probable starters:
Mike Bibby PG Keyon Dooling
Joe Johnson SG Chris Douglas-Roberts
Josh Smith SF Corey Maggette
Al Horford PF Ersan Ilyasova
Zaza Pachulia C Andrew Bogut

(13th) 107.3 - OFFENSE -  100.6 (29th)
(11th) 104.9 - DEFENSE - 102.5 (6th)
(24th) 90.3  - PACE -  90.1 (25th)

On the Hawks:

Peachtree Hoops / Hoopinion / Hawks Str8Talk / Atlanta Journal Constitution

A couple weeks ago, the Bucks and Hawks were snowstormed out in Atlanta. They are not making up that game tonight (they will on March 15), but the Hawks are in town for a trip to the Bradley Center, where the Bucks have lost three of four after starting the New Year with a win against Dallas.

Leaders of the loss. The Bucks had the leading scorer (Douglas-Roberts, 30), rebounder (Bogut, 18), and assister (Dooling, 10) in the Bulls game on Monday, but still managed to lose. It marks only the second time this season that Milwaukee has lost this season despite having the game leaders in those three categories.

Coincidentally, the other game was the deflating overtime home loss to Miami in which the same three players led all players in the same three categories (Douglas Roberts 30 points, Bogut 27 rebounds, Dooling 7 assists).

Running away. No team in the NBA has more road wins (15) than or a better road record (15-8) than Atlanta. Notably, they have already won in Orlando, Utah, and Miami this season. And Milwaukee.

Up and down. Last week, the Hawks won in Miami and then two days later lost by 41 at home to New Orleans. In case you thought the Bucks were enigmatic.

In and out. They started the night very last in the NBA in converting shots at the rim (55.9 %), but the Bucks made a swell 14-20 (.700) at the rim against the Bulls on Monday, led by Luc Mbah a Moute (4-4) and Chris Douglas-Roberts (5-6). The Hawks, somewhat surprisingly are below average finishing at the rim (60.6 %) this season after being pretty elite in that regard last season (63.1 %). The Bucks actually make more shots at the rim (12.1) than the Hawks (11.1, tied for second to last in the NBA) per game.

Curiously, the Mavericks, Heat, and Hawks make the fewest shots per game at the rim this season, but all three are in the top five in shots made from 16-23 feet.

The Hawks are the best team in the NBA from 16-23 feet, making 45.3 %.

JS: Jennings progressing but isn't returning yet
Charles Gardner reports that Brandon Jennings was not cleared to return to practice and full contact after an appointment with team docs on Tuesday.

"I just got some X-rays again, and everything looks fine," Jennings said after the Bucks' practice session Tuesday. "But they're going to hold me back awhile.

"It's discouraging, of course. Six weeks would be next week (Monday). They just want to make sure everything is all right."

AJC: They should soon be whole again
Al Horford (sore right ankle) missed the team's last two games, Marvin Williams (bruised lower back) has missed ten straight, while Josh Smith (knee) and Joe Johnson (knee) have been hobbled as well. But as Michael Cunningham writes, they are all getting healthy now.

So how are the injured guys feeling?

Al: "It’s getting there. I was able to do pretty much the whole practice. It looks good for Wednesday."

Joe: "It’s still a little sore today so I just wanted to get treatment today and take advantage of these few days off. I don’t know what happened [on the play]. I thought my knee hit the floor during the play. I don’t really remember. I know it just got banged."

Marvin: "I feel good. I haven’t had any pain probably in a week now. I am starting to get my strength back, my conditioning is coming back. I am excited."

Smoove, smart vet that he is, used a J.J. screen in the locker room to shake us media types and slipped off into the players’ area. The Hawks said Josh suffered a hyperextended knee against the Hornets. He seemed to walking without much trouble.

Del3No. In his first three games back, Carlos Delfino has made 2-16 (.125) three-pointers. So he looks an awful lot like someone who had missed the previous two and a half months, during which time we had heard a lot more about him riding (stationary) bicycles than working on his outside shot. Delfino is doing more than just missing threes though -- he's racked up four assists and has made a singular free throw in his first 85 minutes back.

Carlitos had hot and cold moments last year -- he scored in double digits just once in his first nine games of the season and dropped 22+ four times in ten days last January -- but right now, he is not right. And that's understandable, but it's also pretty clear. With Brandon Jennings out, it's particulary plain to see why Scott Skiles would want to run a potential ball distributor, and he's not suddenly going to cut Delfino out of the rotation now, but an extended run of bad play would... well, it would make Carlos fit in well with his mates as he gets reacquainted.