It seems in the blink of an eye that the Atlanta Hawks have gone from having a miserable season to finding themselves in the middle of the playoff picture. With a record of 30-25, they are sitting in 4th place in the East right behind Milwaukee. Though the Bucks are sitting well ahead of them (4.5 games), credit must be given to Nate McMillan and his staff. With the regular season being about 75% over this will be a good test for both sides before the playoffs.
Giannis Injury Watch
Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his sixth consecutive game Wednesday afternoon against the Timberwolves with knee soreness. However it does appear that Giannis is making progress as it was reported he has been participating in practices. Let’s hope the MVP can get healthy quick enough to get fully locked in before playoffs. He also could use time to gel with new teammates PJ Tucker, Jeff Teague, and potentially one more in the near future. Milwaukee has been reported to have interest in Joe Johnson and Isaiah Thomas recently to fill their 15th roster spot. I’d be surprised if Budenholzer and company decide to have this be the first game back for Giannis but we never know. The only thing certain is that Giannis wants to play as soon as he’ll be allowed.
Bogdan Meets Bucks After Blown Trade
For the first time since the blown sign-and-trade from this past offseason the Bucks will be facing Bogdan Bogdanovic. After sustaining a fractured knee cap early in the year, he is displaying the level of play that earned him his 4 year/$72 million contract. In the month of April he is averaging 21.8 points and 4.1 assists while shooting 53% from deep over eight games. It will be interesting watching the matchup of him and Donte Divincenzo. It’s hard to say whether Budenholzer will have Donte guard Bogdan much but comparing the stats after the game will definitely be a story line to follow. Can Donte prove to Bucks fans that the failed trade was a blessing in disguise?
Can Milwaukee Keep the Hawks in Check?
Atlanta is currently 13th in the league in scoring (Milwaukee is 1st). While that doesn’t sound too scary, Trae Young has shown throughout his young career to be a very streaky scorer. When he’s on he is one of the most dangerous scorers in the game. Young can hit it from anywhere on the court when he is feeling it like Steph Curry. Can the Bucks keep Young, Bogdanovic, Gallinari and the rest of the squad in check? Or will their penchant for leaving the three point line open haunt them?
Prediction: Bucks win 122 – 113
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