On Wednesday, the Hawks defeated the Miami Heat to snap a seven-game losing streak and move to 10-11 on the season. While the Heat are far from an elite team right now, any win is a good win for the struggling Hawks.
Tonight, Atlanta heads to Milwaukee for a matchup with the Bucks. Milwaukee is trending in the right direction right now — they have won five of their last six — and look like a much tougher team than they did at the beginning of the season.
Just as they were on Wednesday night, the Hawks will have to play without Kent Bazemore, which should mean more minutes for Tim Hardaway Jr. While Hardaway hasn’t been anything close to an elite scorer this season, his development has been fun to watch and he is far from a bad option on a per-game basis.
Mike Budenholzer has been tinkering with the starting lineup over the last few games, and it will be interesting to see if Sefolosha gets more starting time tonight. The Swiss wing has had an impressive season so far, and is a big part of the Hawks’ strong defense.
For Atlanta, the biggest challenge will be stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo. He has emerged as a legitimate star over the past few weeks, and showed — particularly against the Cavaliers — that he can take control of any game. If the Hawks hope to pick up their second straight victory tonight, stopping the “Greek Freak” will be one of the first steps.
As exciting as the victory over the Miami Heat was, the Hawks still sit at under .500, and look very different from the 9-2 team they were in mid-November. If they hope to recapture anything close to the way they played at the beginning of the season, they will need to win games like the one tonight.
Game Date/Time: Friday, December 9, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9, “The Game” FM