The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a clash between top-six East rivals Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.
09:30 (AEST), Mon 26th Apr @ State Farm Arena, Atlanta
History: Played 247: Bucks 125 V Hawks 122
Last meeting: April 15, 2021: Bucks 120 d Hawks 109 at State Farm Arena
Final Thoughts: Fifth hosts third in this Eastern Conference showdown, but Atlanta Hawks have an unflattering recent history against Milwaukee Bucks to overcome.
The Bucks have won 12 of their last 13 against the Hawks, including the last six straight. They took out both clashes so far this season convincingly.
The Bucks prevailed 120-109 in Milwaukee in January, with Jrue Holiday (23 pts, 7 ast) and Brook Lopez (19 pts, 12 reb) spearheading their cause as Giannis Antetokounmpo played limited minutes. Bogdan Bogdanovic (28 pts, 6 reb, 7 ast) and Clint Capela (16 pts, 16 reb) were solid in a beaten Hawks line-up.
Giannis (27 pts, 14 reb, 8 ast) led the way in a 129-115 Bucks victory in Atlanta 10 days ago. Khris Middleton (19 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast) also featured prominently, while Bobby Portis scored 21 points off the bench. De’Andre Hunter and John Collins combined for 63 points for the hosts.
The 33-27 Hawks have won 10 of 13 games in April. They responded to a 137-127 overtime loss to the Knicks – in which Capela went off for 25 points (12-for-17 shooting) and 22 rebounds – with an authoritative 118-103 victory over the Heat minus Capela and Trae Young.
Atlanta are sweating on the fitness of the key duo.
The 37-22 Bucks have won five of their last seven. They are coming off consecutive home wins over fellow East heavyweights the 76ers, prevailing 124-117 and 132-94. Antetokounmpo averaged 25.5 points, 15 rebounds and 6.5 assists across the two matches – but the Bucks are on a back-to-back here.
Milwaukee are 5-5 on zero days’ rest.
The Hawks are 17-11 at home this season, overall and against the start. The Bucks are 17-12 on the road but just 12-17 ATS.
However, with fitness concerns over the Hawks’ best players and Giannis in imperious touch, I’m backing another double-digit win in this rivalry for the Bucks.
Tip: Margin – Bucks 11+
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