The Atlanta Hawks were back at it Sunday afternoon against the young and athletic Milwaukee Bucks at home in Phillips Arena for the second time this season. After losing 5 of 6 games to open the season, the Hawks were hoping for a win against the upstart Bucks and Giannis Antentokounmpo.
The Hawks inactives for Sunday’s game were DeAndre Bembry, who is rehabbing a broken wrist, and Miles Plumlee could return any day after dealing with a hamstring strain the last few weeks. Before today’s game, the Hawks released a statement saying Ersan Ilyasova would miss the next week or two dealing with a bone bruise on his left knee. Also on the injury report was Dennis Schroder, Marco Belinelli and Mike Muscala who all played today.
Early in the action, it was all Milwaukee with MVP candidate Giannis Antentokounmpo leading the way hitting jumpers of all things. For the Hawks, it was Taurean Prince who set the pace as he knocked down a few threes early in the action. Coach Budenholzer went to a two-point guard look early as the Hawks struggled to move the ball to begin the game. Mike Muscala started in the place of the injured Ilyasova and was matched up with Antentokounmpo who took full advantage.
In the second quarter, the Hawks got some good run from a Schroder/Taylor combo alongside rookie John Collins who continued his strong play early in the season. Taruean continued to shoot very well and at the half led the Hawks in points at 15. For the Bucks, it was Giannis who paced them with 15 of his own as they took the lead headed into the break 61-48.
The Bucks and Hawks both started the second half with their original starters and the Bucks continued to add onto their lead. Interestingly, it was Isaiah Taylor who came off the bench in relief of Schroder during the third quarter instead of Malcolm Delaney. Taylor played well on the defensive end and was consistently looking for others before his own shot on the offensive end, traits that Coach Bud seeks out in young players.
Coming into the fourth, the Bucks were up by 21 and no one expected the game to end any differently, however, the Hawks continued to chip away even getting the deficit to within 10 points. The guards did a really good job of playing defense on the perimeter and the Hawks even looked, dare I say, good in parts of the fourth quarter, but the Greek Freak took over late as he normally does, and the Bucks walked away with a win. The Hawks played well late moving the ball and taking 3 pointers, which is a good sign.
One of the few bright spots for the Hawks today was the play of Taurean Prince. Along with Prince, Collins and Taylor were also very good for the Hawks.
The Hawks will play again on Wednesday in Philadelphia trying to end a 6-game slide. We hope you’ll join us then.