When and where: November 20, 2019, State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA, 7:30 PM ET
The Milwaukee Bucks will be looking to hand the Atlanta Hawks a fourth consecutive loss when the two Eastern Conference foes go head-to-head on Wednesday night. Even with the State Farm Arena serving as the venue, the Hawks still come into the game as considerable underdogs with a 2-4 record at home. They’ll be facing a Bucks team riding a four-game win streak and coming off a 115-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls. The Hawks, on the other hand, have racked up consecutive losses to the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns.
Bucks proving resilientThe Robin to Antetokounmpo’s Batman is without question Khris Middleton.
So it has been interesting to see how the Bucks have managed to attack opponents in his absence. Middleton was diagnosed with a left thigh contusion over a week ago that is expected to keep him out for as long as a month. Yet, the continued superstar presence of Antetokounmpo combined with a herculean effort from the team’s role players has helped the Bucks continue to win games.
It’s tough to envision them needing much help going on the road to take on the Hawks on Wednesday. Yes, I’m talking about the same Hawks team that ranks dead last in offensive efficiency and in the bottom-half of the league in defense. Star guard Trae Young has been sensational, but there hasn’t been much help behind him, aside from Jabari Parker and John Collins.
Meanwhile, the strength of the Bucks has been their depth. It’s the reason why they’re scoring 118.5 points per game on one end of the floor and ranking fourth in defensive efficiency on the other end. Atlanta being the second-worst team in turnovers could also be a problem against an opportunistic defensive team like the Bucks.
Young can’t hide all of the Hawks’ weaknessesThe continued evolution of Trae Young’s abilities has served as its own personal side attraction for the Hawks’ basketball games. On one hand, there’s the disappointing season that is likely to be filled with more teases and talk of rebuilding for the future. On the other hand, there’s the cotton candy-induced magic that comes from tuning into the spectacle that is Trae Young. It’s the ride of a lifetime, but it’s also the comfort food with no substance.
The Hawks have more problems than the greatness of Young can hide. They are clearly limited on the offensive end of the floor with Parker and Collins being the only other dependable scoring options for the team. Then there’s the defensive end of the floor, where Young’s game has clearly yet to take off. Considering the Bucks will do everything to limit his shooting percentage on Wednesday, he’ll have to be aggressive on defense, while leaning on his floor vision to get by in a role as a master facilitator.
One problem for the Hawks is the lack of big-shot potential. They are only averaging 29.7 percent when shooting from 3-pointer this season. That puts them in a tough spot if they fall behind early against the Bucks. It has been a glaring issue throughout the early portion of the season. The Hawks lack the means to score points in bulk and push for a comeback.
Kevin Huerter has already been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Bucks, while Parker and Evan Turner could both be game-time decisions.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Bucks are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 road games against a team with a losing home record.
- Bucks are 15-6-1 ATS in their last 22 games following an ATS win.
- Bucks are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games against a team with a winning % below .400.
- Bucks are 42-20-2 ATS in their last 64 games against teams in the Eastern Conference.
- Hawks are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days.
- Hawks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
- Hawks are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Hawks are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.