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Preview and Game Thread #81: Atlanta Hawks @ Milwaukee Bucks

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Atlanta Hawks 09-10 Season Game # 81


@ Bucks_medium

Bradley Center
April 12th, 2010, 8:00 PM EST
Fox Sports South, Hawks Radio Network, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Mike Bibby PG Brandon Jennings
Joe Johnson SG John Salmons

Marvin Williams

SF Carlos Delfino

Josh Smith

PF Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Al Horford C Kurt Thomas

Hawks Injury Report: Jamal Crawford is out with a toe injury according to the AJC. Wait Jason Collins is hurt?

Bucks Injury Report:Andrew Bogot and Michael Redd are out. I am still scared of the Bucks. If that is not a ringing endoresment for Scott Skiles coach of the year candidacy, I don't know what is.

Blogging With the Enemy: Brew Hoop

Predicted Bane of the Hawks Existence: I do not like John Salmons.

Game Preview:

Al Horford has played well against the Bucks all year, and Milwaukee has very good perimeter defense. So Andrew Boguts injury may be the ultimate test as to whether the Hawks simply don't mind playing through Horford on occasion or actually think he can win them certain games.

Bogut never did much against the Hawks this year. (A credit to Al's defense and a few Josh Smith goal tends not called.) His absence certainly helps Atlanta, but not if they still fail to find a way to stop John Salmons (and Luke Ridnour, and Jerry Stackhouse and really any player that has the ability both to hit jumpers and drive the ball). Still, Bogut's injury may just turn the switching defense that worked so horribly for the Hawks in their last outing against the Bucks into a viable strategy. Kurt Thomas is a bigger, older, less athletic version of Mario West out there. If the Hawks can find a way to tweak their screen switching defense so as to start an early form of a double team and not some self induced mismatch, the Hawks are 35 shots from their front court away from beating the Bucks handily tonight and in the playoffs.

Of course, the big "what if" tonight is effort, and the big "what if" come playoff time is trust. Here is hoping tonight has effort so trust comes easier in a week or so.

Go Hawks!