The Atlanta Hawks put together a memorable performance on Friday evening, stealing a road win over the Philadelphia 76ers behind strong play from Kevin Huerter and John Collins. After a travel day on Saturday, the Hawks face a quick turnaround, as the Milwaukee Bucks arrive for a Sunday matinee at State Farm Arena.
In another notable showing (for all the wrong reasons), the Hawks recently flopped against the Bucks, with a disastrous first quarter setting the stage for a blowout defeat. However, there have been plenty of encouraging signs since then and Atlanta will operate within the friendly confines of their home arena for the rematch.
In addition, the headliner for the afternoon is the return of former Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer for the first time since he and Atlanta parted ways this past offseason. Budenholzer is the front-runner for Coach of the Year honors this season and, as such, it doesn’t appear as if he regrets his decision. Still, the early returns on his replacement, Lloyd Pierce, are promising and it will be interesting to see how the Atlanta faithful welcome a former coach that captained the franchise to its best season (the 60-win campaign) since arriving from St. Louis.
On the floor, the home team will be tasked with slowing Giannis Antetokounmpo in this spot, though it should be noted that the MVP candidate was sidelined for Milwaukee’s last contest as a result of quad and hip pain. He is expected to play on Sunday, however, as Antetokounmpo joins Eric Bledsoe in being listed as probable.
For Atlanta, there is an interesting change on the injury report, with Taurean Prince upgraded to questionable for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in early December. It remains to be seen as to whether Prince will play and, if he does, how Pierce and his staff will choose to deploy him. Elsewhere, Jeremy Lin (right bicep contusion) is listed as probable, while Dewayne Dedmon (left ankle sprain) is questionable. If Dedmon was unable to play, the Hawks would likely turn to Alex Len in a starting capacity.
As of the time of this post, the Hawks are listed by the good folks in Las Vegas as double-digit underdogs, foreshadowing a tough match-up on paper. Still, Atlanta has been overachieving when compared to expectations in recent days and this should be an interesting battle.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from State Farm Arena.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 13, 3:30 pm ET
Location: State Farm Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)