No one was happy about the performance of the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.
The Hawks dropped the first game after the All-Star break to the Miami Heat, and while there is no crime to losing to a quality team (even at home), losing to that particular version of the Heat wasn't ideal. Atlanta allowed 115 points (and 50% shooting) from the field, and that provided a frustrated Mike Budenholzer and a locker room that was seemingly searching for answers following the contest.
For better or worse, the Hawks have a quick turnaround, though, as the team hosts the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday in the rare home back-to-back. Milwaukee also lost a home game in its first game after the break, and both teams could be running on fumes for this one. As such, that should favor the home team (with the home crowd behind them), but if the Hawks cannot defend at a reasonable level, there is only so much that can be done to get a victory.
Earlier in the year, Mike Budenholzer's team lost an overtime battle in Wisconsin, and Milwaukee is a team fully capable of rising up to snatch away a win if Atlanta isn't careful. Above all, the Hawks must perform with more intensity and execution defensively, and a listless start (in the mold of Friday's first quarter) would be damning to that end.
Stay tuned throughout the day for more details and full coverage from Philips Arena.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, February 20, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM