The Atlanta Hawks head out on the road in what could be a key four-game road trip that could ultimately go a long way in deciding what seed they get going into the playoffs. The trip begins Sunday in Milwaukee against the Bucks who are desperately trying to get things turned around enough to move out of the eighth seed and thus avoid having to play Miami in the first round of the playoffs.
Atlanta has won both meetings this season including Wednesday's 98-90 win at Philips Arena. Jeff Teague led Atlanta's attack with 27 points and 11 assists while Al Horford added 26 points and 15 rebounds. Atlanta used a strong third quarter to pull away from Milwaukee and then was able to hang on when Brandon Jennings led a charge in the fourth.
Jennings led the Bucks with 21 points but the Hawks were able to keep Monta Ellis in check holding him to just five points on 2-14 shooting. Ellis has since been diagnosed with a flu bug but scored 22 points in Friday's loss to Indiana but was 9-22 from the field.
Atlanta will once again look to keep Jennings and Ellis in check and that begins with getting a strong performance from Teague at the point guard position. Another key point for the Hawks is holding their own on the backboard against a strong Milwaukee frontline. The Bucks could get a key player back into the lineup on Sunday in Ersan Ilyasova who hasn't played since March 17 against Orlando because of a hip injury. Ilyasova is listed as questionable against the Hawks on Sunday. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute likely won't play and is listed as doubtful with a toe injury.
Milwaukee still has plenty of depth in its frontcourt beginning with Larry Sanders who is averaging 10.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game during March. Sanders finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds against the Hawks on Wednesday.
The Milwaukee win on Wednesday was sandwiched between disappointing losses to Dallas and Portland. The Hawks failed to show against the Mavericks before the quality win against the Bucks. On Friday Atlanta couldn't hold an 11 point lead and suffered another set back to the Blazers.
Larry Drew lamented their defensive effort following the lost to Portland saying that the Hawks aren't a team that is built to try and outscore their opponent. He will be looking for much more consistent play on the defensive end of the floor during this road trip.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, March 23, 3 p.m. ET
Location: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Radio: 680 The Fan, 93.7 FM
Online Streaming: NBA League Pass Broadband
Odds: Atlanta is a 3.5 point underdog on the road at Milwaukee