Milwaukee Bucks (20-18 SU, 18-20 ATS, 22-15-1 O/U) vs. Atlanta Hawks (22-17 SU, 20-19 ATS, 14-24-1 O/U)
NBA: Sunday, January 15, 2017, Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia, 3 pm ET
Line: Atlanta -3; Over/Under: 207.5
It’s a matchup of Eastern Conference teams looking to pick up some ground in the playoff picture. The Milwaukee Bucks are on the road as they face the Southeast Division leading Atlanta Hawks Sunday afternoon. Milwaukee won their second straight by beating the Heat 116-108 at home Friday night. Atlanta had their seven game win streak snapped with a 103-101 home loss to Boston Friday night. The Hawks have a 109-102 advantage in the all-time regular season series and have won six of the last eight, including the first two matchups this season. That includes a 114-110 road win in the most recent meeting on December 9, 2016.
Milwaukee Bucks Shoot for Third Straight Win
Milwaukee has won back to back games as they downed Miami to pick up their 12th home win of the season. The Bucks ran to a 12 point edge after the opening quarter and extended that lead to 17 by halftime. Milwaukee kept the edge at 17 after three quarters and held on despite the Heat’s attempt to make a run in the fourth quarter. The Bucks knocked down an even 50 percent of their shots from the floor and drained 9 of 15 three point attempts in addition to 27 of 31 free throw attempts. Milwaukee held a dominant 46-27 edge on the glass in the contest as well. Jabari Parker finished with 24 points to lead six Bucks in double figures in the win.
The Bucks are in the middle of the pack offensively, ranking 14th in the league with 105.4 points a game. Milwaukee is below average on the boards as they are 24th with 42.6 rebounds per game. The Bucks are 3rd in assists as they dish out 24.9 per contest. Milwaukee is 10th in scoring defense as they allow 103.2 points per game. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the do everything guy for Milwaukee: he leads the team with 23.2 points along with 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.84 steals and 2.03 blocks per game. Jabari Parker puts up 20.8 points plus 5.7 boards a night while Greg Monroe averages 10.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in a sixth man role. Matthew Dellavedova, Mirza Teletovic, John Henson, Rashad Vaughn, Tony Snell, Malcolm Brogdon, Michael Beasley and Jason Terry provide a decent mix of youth and experience in the secondary scoring part of the rotation. Milwaukee is 3rd in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 47.6 percent from the floor. The Bucks are 22nd with 8.7 three point field goals per game and stand tied for 7th as they shoot 37.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Atlanta Hawks Seek to Bounce Back After Tough Loss
Atlanta rallied from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to tie Boston in the final minute. The Hawks couldn’t contain Isaiah Thomas, who hit the game winning bucket with 2.4 seconds to play. Atlanta had one more chance to tie the game and force overtime only to have Paul Millsap miss a tough shot. The Hawks shot 43.4 percent from the floor and knocked in 11 of 29 three point attempts in the contest. Atlanta saw Boston shoot an equal 43.4 percent but the Celtics knocked down 17 of 44 three point attempts to make the difference in an evenly matched game that was an entertaining 48 minutes of basketball. Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr. each had 23 points to lead the Hawks in the loss.
The Hawks are 20th in the league in scoring offense with 102.6 points per game this season. Atlanta is 9th in the league in rebounding (44.4 rpg) and 6th with 23.9 assists per contest. The Hawks are 8th in the NBA in scoring defense as they allow 102.6 points per game. Paul Millsap is leading the team with 17.8 points plus 8.1 boards and 3.8 assists per game. Dennis Schroder puts up 17.4 points plus 6.2 dimes a night at the point. Kent Bazemore (9.8 points), Tim Hardaway Jr. (11.9 points) and Dwight Howard (13.9 points, 13.3 boards, 1.31 rejections) are all solid scoring options this season. Mike Muscala, Thabo Sefolosha, Mike Dunleavy, Kris Humphries and Taurean Prince provide depth and secondary scoring. The Hawks are tied for 13th in the league by shooting 45.4 percent from the floor as a team. Atlanta is tied for 20th in the league with 8.8 made three pointers a night and tied for 24th in three point shooting as the team hits a paltry 34.1 percent from beyond the arc.
- Bucks are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Sunday games
- Hawks are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. NBA Central
- Hawks are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall
- Hawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss
This one has the makings of being an entertaining contest. The first two meetings saw the Hawks win by seven here and by four in Milwaukee. The Bucks have back to back wins in their pocket while Atlanta had won seven in a row before their tough loss to the Celtics. The Hawks have tremendous depth in their rotation while the Bucks aren’t quite as deep. Atlanta is playing at home and they own a pair of wins over Milwaukee as it stands. Look for the Hawks to make it three straight wins over the Bucks with a tight win here.
Pick: Atlanta Hawks -3
Both teams have been playing solid basketball of late with the Bucks taking their last two to get back over the .500 mark on the season. Atlanta reeled off seven straight wins and nearly rallied to extend their win streak. The Hawks have suddenly focused more on defense: perhaps with the move of Korver to the Cavaliers, Atlanta’s pieces fit better. Milwaukee has been tough all season long as they’ve been much better than their numbers indicate.
The Bucks have gone under the number in 11 of their last 14 Sunday contests. Atlanta has gone under the number in each of their last five overall and in each of their last four after allowing at least 100 points. In addition, the under is 8-1 in Atlanta’s last nine on Sunday, in five of their last six against the Eastern Conference and in five of their last six against teams with a winning record. The under has gone 5-1 in the last six meetings between the franchises. This one will be an entertaining game but expect it to come under the total as well.