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Bucks vs. Hawks Preview: Bird is On Milwaukee’s Menu One Day Early

Khris Middleton will be back on hand for this one

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Just one week ago, the Milwaukee Bucks took out the Atlanta Hawks on their home turf in an offensive outburst that sent Bud’s squad stumbling down the defensive rating rankings a smidge. Now, they have a chance to outlast the Hawks again on their home court.

Bucks Update

Monday’s 122-118 victory over the Utah Jazz might be the pinnacle of the season to this point. Giannis Antetokounmpo dropping a 50-bomb on them, albeit without the handiwork of Rudy Gobert down low, made quite the waves among Bucks nation. He needed very bucket from that effort too, with a poor shooting night from almost every teammate, sans Wesley Matthews (19 points, 5/8 from deep). They didn’t have George Hill in that one either, who yours truly asininely picked as the dude to watch that night. Apologies. Any team can lose on any given night in the NBA, but after Utah, the Bucks take on Atlanta, Cleveland, Charlotte, the Knicks and Pistons before getting the Clippers at home. There’s a real possibility for them to have won 13 straight heading into that game. Knock on wood folks.

George Hill is the only player on the injury report, doubtful with back soreness. Don’t get old, people.

Player to Watch: Khris Middleton

Middleton made waves with the surprising announcement yesterday that he’d be returning for this Hawks game, albeit on a minutes restriction. It’s a good thing too, considering De’Andre Hunter just punished Milwaukee last week with some hot shooting. Hopefully some of Middleton’s meddling defense, if matched up against Hunter, can deter the rookie from another sweet scoring effort.

Hawks Update

It’s not great folks. At 4-13 with seven straight losses under their belts, the wily Hawks don’t seem to be settling into this John Collins suspension period all that well. Their talent is young, the upside is there, but it certainly doesn’t appear that it’s gonna congeal into a wonderful cranberry sauce substance this season. I’ll tell you what else isn’t ideal, it’s their injury report, which looks about as long as your menu for Turkey Day tomorrow.

Here goes nothing: De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Trae Young are all probable. That’s an okay sign. Deandre Bembry is questionable, and John Collins and Kevin Huerter are both out. Good luck fellas.

Player to Watch: De’Andre Hunter

Hunter, if he plays, was a sizzling hot 8/12 from the field last time out, to notch 27 points with a side of 11 rebounds. He went 8/9 from the free throw line. Between him and Trae Young, they formed a potent young combo in the starting lineup. The Bucks should hope they can slow the rookie down after he already pulled one fine performance out against them.


Game 18: Against Atlanta, the Bucks will...

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  • 84%
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