By now, you probably know that the Atlanta Hawks are playing quite well. Prior to the Christmas holiday, the team extended its winning streak to five games with a home victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, and somehow, Mike Budenholzer's club navigated an incredibly difficult stretch of games without a single blemish. However, this is not a time to let the guard down, as the Hawks welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to Philips Arena on Friday evening for the first of back-to-back contests against the same opponent.
This isn't your "traditional" Milwaukee Bucks team, as new head coach Jason Kidd has the team in the playoff race with a 14-15 record. Star rookie Jabari Parker is out for the season as a result of an ACL tear, but Milwaukee still has plenty of talent, headlined by athletic wonder Giannis Antetokounmpo and point guard Brandon Knight.
Fortunately for Atlanta, the Bucks do not possess a pure "go-to guy" that could give the defense fits, but this a well-coached bunch. It will be interesting to see how the Hawks respond given the theoretical step back in competition, but Milwaukee is fully capable of rising up to snatch a road victory if the home team does not show up ready to take care of business.
The Atlanta Hawks remain as one of only a handful of NBA teams who can boast top-10 units on both offense and defense, and that brings a great deal of comfort to the fan base. Still, it would be unrealistic to assume that the Hawks can simply roll out of bed and grab a win against an inherently decent Bucks team, and Atlanta's charge will be to come out of the gate ready to go from the opening whistle.
Game Date/Time: Friday, December 26, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Radio: 92.9 The Game