Bucks vs Atlanta- Game 4 on the season
The Bucks take on Atlanta in their last match-up of the season. After this game the Bucks will be halfway through with their season. Check out part one of the midseason grades here.
The 26-14 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 19-21 Atlanta Hawks Wednesday Night in downtown Atlanta. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN. Tip is at 6:30pm.
The Bucks are 10-9 away from the Fiserv forum but the Hawks are only 11-8 at home.
This is the fourth time these teams have played. The Hawks won 121-106 in the last matchup on Nov. 15. Milwaukee won the previous two match-ups.
Vegas has the Bucks at a 51% chance to win the game and 1 point favorites. Like so many NBA regular season games it will probably come down to 4th quarter effort and defense.
The Keys for Milwaukee
No more than 14 total team turnovers
Sometimes big guys like to try to dribble the ball up and “pretend” to play point guard. We’ve got a little of that going on right now in Milwaukee.
Now, in Giannis’s defense sometimes that is a set, offensive play Coach Bud wants to run. But lately the turnovers are just killing him. Against the Knicks Antetokounmpo only had 4 turnovers. That was good. Against the Raptors in a game that had no business going into overtime, he had 12. 12!
As a team the Bucks are averaging 14.8 turnovers per game this season. That is not a terrible number and against the Knicks Milwaukee had 14 turnovers and won.
Against Charlotte Milwaukee had 16 turnovers and against Toronto Milwaukee had 25! Again, Giannis had 12! That is too many. Turnovers shift the momentum of a game. That matters.
Keep up the Strong Team Rebounding
If you regularly read this space you know we are a little obsessed with Milwaukee’s quest to win the team rebounding title. Well, good news: as a team Milwaukee is tops in the NBA (49.3 per game). Memphis dropped to second with 49 rebounds per game.
Milwaukee needs to continue to rebound the basketball as a team. If you watch closely you can sense that Jevon Carter and Jrue Holiday will collapse the paint and even steal rebounds from Brook Lopez or Bobby Portis. (They all seem to know better than to steal them from Giannis.)
Milwaukee outrebounded Toronto 73 to 46. So then why did Toronto manage to take the game to overtime? Turnovers.
The Opponent: The Atlanta Hawks
It has been much more of a “down” season than an “up” season for Atlanta. They have had some turmoil. It has been well-chronicled how much Trey Young and Head Coach Nate McMillian don’t seem to get along.
But otherwise Young is a pretty awesome player. Averaging 27.5 points per game and sporting a look like Bill Murray in the film “What about Bob?” (once you see it you can’t unsee it), Young can shoot the three and pass the ball (9.8 assists per game).
The Hawks added Dejounte Murray in the off season. He is averaging 20 points a game, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Murray is also 5th right now in the NBA in steals. All of this has proven to be a really strong #2 complement to Young.
As a team Atlanta only averages 115 points per game (lower for them). What has hurt them is they give up 117 points per game.
John Collins is a good, strong interior presence. But unlike the Bucks, the Hawks are in the bottom third of the NBA in team rebounding. Clint Capela is hurt and won’t play. Former Badger hero Frank Kaminsky is on the Hawks. He does not play a ton but you can always look for his familiar face. He may need to play with Capela hurt.
The Hawks also have Justin Holiday on their team. He is the oldest of the 4 Holiday siblings. Of course his brother Jrue is our beloved point guard.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Trey Young just straight walked out of a game and a few practices this year. Drama!
- When you think Hawks you have to think Dominique Wilkins. Born in Paris, France, Wilkins is a hall of famer. Today, he is the play-by-play analyst for Bally Sports Atlanta.
- The Milwaukee Bucks were founded in 1968 as an expansion team. In 1971 they won an NBA championship.
- Remember Jason Kidd. The Bucks traded away two second round picks to get him as a coach. Who did those players end up becoming? One was current Buck Pat Connaughton.
- Pat Connaughton participated in the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk contest. For a stunt dunk he dunked over current Brewer Christian Yelich. He took 3rd.
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