After a bit of a valley on Monday night at home, the Atlanta Hawks responded with an impressive road win on Wednesday, and the team appears to have rediscovered the mojo that has propelled quality play in recent weeks. On Friday night, the Hawks will face off against the Milwaukee Bucks for the third and final time this season, and Milwaukee is a rare opponent that Atlanta has been unable to topple in 2015-2016.
The Bucks are 2-0 against the Hawks, and that includes a double-OT win at Philips Arena earlier in the year. As it stands now, Milwaukee is playing improved basketball (despite three straight losses that all came against quality opponents), but earlier in the season, the Bucks were struggling mightily and it isn't the best thing for Atlanta's overall profile to be winless against this bunch.
Still, Milwaukee presents match-up issues for every team in the league by presenting Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the starting frontcourt. Both players have been much improved in recent weeks, and Antetokounmpo has been playing at a legitimate All-Star level to lead this mini-surge. Fortunately, the Hawks are equipped with the likes of Paul Millsap to counteract some of that dynamic, but covering Giannis will be a challenge for any of Atlanta's wing options.
With ten games remaining, the Hawks are firmly in the conversation for the third seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, but holding serve at home against an inferior opponent is something that the team must do to maintain that positioning. It won't be easy, though, and the Bucks seem to have Atlanta's numbers in the recent past. Buckle up, and let's do this thing together.
Game Date/Time: Friday, March 25, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM