Milwaukee Bucks (46-36 SU 53-28-1 ATS) vs. Atlanta Hawks (53-29 SU 48-35 ATS) Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA 7 PM EST Tuesday April 20, 2010 on NBA TV
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Bucks +7.5 / Hawks -7.5
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Atlanta leads this best of 7 series 1-0.
Tonight in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference opening round playoff series the Atlanta Hawks host the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hawks won Game 1 by 10 points and they shot lights out in the game and every starter had at least 12 points. The Bucks will have to figure out how to play better defense tonight or they will be heading north down 2-0 in their series.
This season the Hawks are 34-7 at home and the Bucks are 18-23 on the road.
The Bucks have to play better perimeter defense than they did in the opening game of the series, as the Hawks shot 54.5% from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Hawks are pretty thin inside, which is their glaring weakness, but the Bucks really cannot take advantage of that with leading scorer and rebounder Andrew Bogut out.
The Bucks’ starting frontcourt of Carlos Delfino, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Tim Thomas combined to score only 16 points in Game 1. These guys have to give Milwaukee some offense so the guards have more open looks.
Brandon Jennings had a huge Game 1 going for 34 points and he buried 4 of his 6 3 point bombs. His backcourt mate John Salmons did have 16 points, but he was only 6/18 from the floor and missed all 5 of his 3-point shots. Salmons will have to play better in this game, as he is one of only a few scoring threats that Milwaukee has.
In Game 1 the Bucks only hit on 6/20 of their 3-point shots and they have to hit the long ball tonight to have any chance to pull off the upset.
Every Hawks starter not only scored at least 12 points in Game 1, but every starter with the exception of Joe Johnson shot over 50% from the field and Johnson was not far off shooting 10/21 for the game.
In Game 1 the high scorer for Atlanta was Joe Johnson going for 22 points on 10/21 shooting and the high scorer for Milwaukee was Brandon Jennings going for 34 points on 14/25 shooting. For the game the Hawks shot well going 41/76 for a FG% of 53.9% and the Bucks shot 37/82 for a FG% of 45.1%. The Hawks out-rebounded the Bucks by 5 (40-35) and each team committed 12 turnovers.
This season the Hawks ranked 12th in scoring (101.7 ppg) and the Bucks ranked 22nd (97.7 ppg). On defense the Bucks ranked 7th in the league in opponents’ points allowed (96 ppg) and the Hawks ranked 9th (97 ppg). Both teams were very even on the boards this season, as the Hawks had a rebounding differential of +0.3 rpg and the Bucks were at +0.2 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Hawks rank 6th (94.20) and the Bucks rank 14th (91.27).
Milwaukee is 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 road games, 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games as a road underdog, and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games against team with a winning home record.
Milwaukee has an Over record of 4-0 in their last 4 games, an Over record of 8-0 in their last 8 games against teams with a winning record, and an Over record of 5-0 in their last 5 playoff games as an underdog.
Atlanta is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games, 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games against teams with a winning record.
Atlanta has an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 games and an Over record of 4-0 in their last 4 games against teams with a winning record.
On the injury front neither team is reporting any significant injuries even though Bucks’ C Andrew Bogut is Out until next season with an arm injury.
Jason’s Pick: The Bucks have to play great defense and shoot lights out to have any chance to win and I do not think that will happen tonight. The Hawks are just too well-balanced on offense while the Bucks are not. The Hawks will come out and play solid again and easily win this game, but I believe Milwaukee will cover as a +7.5 underdog.