Milwaukee is coming off of a 96-89 loss against the Boston Celtics this past Thursday. Despite the surreal atmosphere of having a game at the MECCA on national television, Milwaukee’s offense struggled the majority of the game. Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to “only” 28 points but never really looked to get any momentum during the game. Milwaukee was in this game until near the end of the third quarter, when Boston was able to hit some timely threes and begin pulling away in the fourth quarter which surprised few people. Hopefully, Milwaukee can perform better against a Hawks team that is struggling to start the season.
Player to watch: Malcolm Brogdon
With Khris Middleton struggling thus far, Milwaukee has needed a player to step up. Brogdon looks to be that player scoring 15.8 points per game and hitting half of his threes. The ROY has really stepped up his performance and looks to build on his play from last year which includes taking more threes off the dribble and seeming like a playmaker while Giannis rests. Brogdon might have his hands full on defense with Dennis Schröder returning from injury and available to play.
Atlanta has had a rough start to the season. After winning their first game of the season, Atlanta has lost their last five games. The Hawks did start their first four games on the road which is tough for any team. The team is going through a rebuild after Paul Millsap left the team and joined the Denver Nuggets during free agency. The team does have some young pieces like Schroder, Taurean Prince and John Collins. There will not be any revenge games from Ersan Illyasova or Miles Plumlee as both are ruled out for today’s game.
Player to watch: John Collins
Collins and Muscala figure to be the most obvious beneficiaries of Ilyasova’s absence, and don’t be surprised if he makes Bucks fans wonder whether it was a mistake passing on him in last June’s draft. Collins was always an intriguing prospect, averaging nearly 29 points and 15 rebounds per 40 minutes during his sophomore season at Wake Forest. But despite standing nearly 6’10 in shoes, Collins didn’t have the wingspan (only 6’11) or defensive upside that Milwaukee normally covets. While the season is still young, the 19th pick looks is already establishing himself as one of the league’s top rookies, leading all rookies in rebounds per 36 minutes and joining Ben Simmons as the only first year players to rack up multiple double-doubles. He has been coming off the bench, but his energy and rebounding ability will have the potential to be an issue for a Milwaukee team that has historically been among the league’s worst on the glass.