The Atlanta Hawks so far through the first two weeks of the season are 4-1 with their only loss coming to the team that they beat in the Play-In Tournament last season, the Charlotte Hornets. Also, all four of their wins have come over three of the teams that picked in the top five of the 2022 NBA Draft.
This game will be the first true test for the new-look Hawks, as they play the 4-0 Milwaukee Bucks, featuring who many people believe is the game’s best player in two-time league MVP and 2021 Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is currently averaging a mere 34.5 points, 13.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.8 blocks per game.
The Bucks also feature Jrue Holiday (14 points, 5.3 rebounds, seven assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game), Bobby Portis (14 points, 10.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks per game) and Brook Lopez (11.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and four blocks per game). Led by a former Defensive Player of the Year in Giannis, Milwaukee is the best rebounding team in the league with 52.3 rebounds per game and is allowing the fewest points, allowing only 100 points per game.
For the Hawks, the new backcourt of Trae Young (29.4 points and 10.6 assists per game) and Dejounte Murray (19.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 2.4 steals and 0.8 blocks per game) has worked out incredibly well at this point early in the season.
The two other offensive stalwarts for the Hawks have been John Collins (16 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.4 blocks per game) and De’Andre Hunter (14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game). Clint Capela (7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game) and Onyeka Okongwu (10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game) have also chipped in important contributions to the team.
The Bucks will almost certainly test the Hawks in terms of physical and mental toughness with their physical prowess and defensive intensity. How they come out of this game looking could be a major tell where the Hawks are as a team and how they need to improve. Also, seeing two MVP candidates in Young and Antetokounmpo play each other should be fun for die-hard fans of both teams.
For Atlanta, Bogdan Bogdanovic is still out with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Milwaukee is still missing Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton for several weeks due to a wrist injury and right calf strain respectively. Also, the Bucks won’t have Joe Ingles until January.
According to DK Sportsbook, the Bucks are 5.5-point favorites over the Hawks.
Date & Time: Sat Oct. 29, 2022, 8 pm ET
Location: Fiserv Forum
TV: BSSE, League Pass (out of market)
Streaming: Bally Sports App, League Pass (out of market)
Radio: 92.9 The Game