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Preview: Hawks face substantial challenge in Milwaukee

Atlanta Hawks v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks are riding a three-game winning streak and, after a bit of a downturn, the team is back above the .500 mark with an 8-7 mark this season. However, the team’s schedule becomes (much) more difficult in the near future, beginning with a challenging road game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday evening.

Though the Bucks have lost two games in a row, Milwaukee enters this contest with the No. 2 offensive rating (117.0) and No. 2 net rating (+8.6) in the NBA. From there, the Bucks have a spotless injury report, and the team’s roster is keyed by star power with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.

As such, the Hawks will not be favored in the betting market — barring a change of some kind — in this contest, and Atlanta does have its eye on the injury report yet again. On the positive side, both Danilo Gallinari and Cam Reddish are off the report entirely after returning to action on Friday in Minnesota. With that said, Trae Young (back spasm) is officially listed as questionable, and he is joined in that distinction by De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness).

Young has been quite durable in his time with the Hawks, but his name appearing on the injury report certainly isn’t positive news in advance of a difficult match-up. From there, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kris Dunn remain sidelined and, even with Young and Hunter available to play, Atlanta will need to play at a high level to topple Milwaukee on the road.

After defensive brilliance the last two seasons, the Bucks enter this game as merely an above-average defensive group statistically, rather than a thoroughly dominant one. Some of that could be early-season noise, but the Hawks have the capability to score in bunches against virtually any opponent given their personnel, and this is an interesting test for Lloyd Pierce and company.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 24, 8:00 pm ET

Location: Fiserv Forum

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA TV

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)