The Atlanta Hawks picked up yet another victory on Tuesday evening, but the team might be shorthanded as it arrives home for the second game of a back-to-back set. Dwight Howard suffered a quad contusion during the third quarter in Miami and, as a result, his status is very much up in the air when it comes to the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Philips Arena.
The Bucks are led by multi-talented forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who enters Wednesday night averaging 21.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game on the season. “Point Giannis” has become a thing in that he handles the ball quite a bit for Milwaukee, and old pal Matthew Dellavedova takes the reins from the point guard position as the presumptive defender of Dennis Schröder.
If Howard is able to play (and he is officially listed as questionable), this appears to be a favorable match-up for Atlanta. The Bucks have enjoyed a strong start defensively that has led to a 5-4 record, but Milwaukee’s offense is nothing to write home about, and the Hawks have a number of options to throw at Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker (hello, Paul Millsap) throughout the evening.
Without Howard, though, the Hawks could face a significant challenge. Milwaukee brings more size to the table than most NBA teams given Antetokounmpo’s length and the prospect of playing a true center (John Henson, Greg Monroe, etc.) with both he and Parker. Moreover, Atlanta would be forced to utilize both Mike Muscala (who has been tremendous this season) and Kris Humphries for extended minutes, with the possibility of going small and/or using Ryan Kelly for his first rotation playing time of the season.
At the time of this post, we are left to speculate on Howard given the questionable designation, but if he is unable to go, this becomes a legitimate toss-up game despite the friendly environment. Stay tuned throughout the night for full coverage from Philips Arena.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, November 16, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM