The Atlanta Hawks welcome a frisky Milwaukee Bucks team to town on Friday night for what is suddenly a highly anticipated match-up. However, the Bucks will be operating at less than full strength, with both Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova out of action.
Larry Sanders (illness) and Ersan Ilyasova (concussion) are out tonight as Bucks play at Atlanta.— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) December 26, 2014
Sanders is the team leader in both rebounds (6.1 per game) and blocks (1.4 per game) this season, and the big man has been enjoying a mini-renaissance after a disastrous season in 2013-2014. In the case of Ilyasova, his absence is likely less impactful, but the versatile forward is averaging nearly 10 points per game in only 18.5 minutes of floor time per contest, and seeing another explosive offensive option on the sideline probably doesn't hurt Atlanta.
In the midst of the injuries, the Bucks do get an injection of life in the form of John Henson, who is active for the first time since November 25th after suffering a broken foot. Still, Milwaukee is already without number two overall pick Jabari Parker for the season as a result of a torn ACL, and this isn't quite the same roster that has assembled a playoff-caliber mark in the Eastern Conference this season. Head coach Jason Kidd has inserted Kendall Marshall into the starting lineup to change things up, and we will see how that matches up against a Hawks team that is firing on all cylinders right now.
Stay tuned throughout the evening for updates and full coverage of the game between the Hawks and Bucks.