Tonight’s game in Atlanta doesn’t mean a whole lot — to the Bucks. Trailing Boston by 3.0 games with four games remaining in the season, the Bucks are all but locked into a first-round matchup with the Heat. The next four games are exhibitions, and Milwaukee’s goals in them should be to play well and stay healthy.
On the other hand, Atlanta is jostling with Chicago in the battle for the 5th and 6th seeds in the Eastern Conference. Given that the Hawks likely prefer a series against Brooklyn to one against Indiana, the Hawks need as many wins as possible to catch the Bulls, whom they trail by half a game.
Just for giggles, here’s a video of then-assistant coach Jim Boylan trying to distract Josh Smith on a corner three-pointer in a late game situation. I hope Smith takes pity on Boylan when Milwaukee signs Smith to a max contract this offseason. (I kid, I kid. Oy, I hope I’m kidding.)
Hawks: Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith, Al Horford
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Marquis Daniels, Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson/Ekpe Udoh
Ekpe Udoh (sprained right ankle): probable
Ersan Ilyasova (illness): probable
Larry Sanders (left hip pain): questionable
Brandon Jennings (sore left Achilles’ tendon): questionable
Zaza Pachulia and Lou Williams are out for the season.
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The Hawks are a whisker above average; the Bucks are seven whiskers below it. Given the mixed motivations of the two teams, throw out all the numbers anyway — they’re useless for predicting the outcome of this game.