Focus on defense
After their worst performance of the season in terms of defensive rating on Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets, expect a much better defensive effort to be top priority for Mike Budenholzer’s Bucks on this occasion.
Speaking to Ben Steele of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after that game, Budenholzer commented, “our effort to protect the paint and to protect the rim probably wasn’t up to the standards that we set all year”.
Whether the Bucks again opt for a relatively full-strength lineup and rotation or use this Hawks game as an opportunity to get some rest in ahead of the playoffs, Budenholzer and his staff will undoubtedly want to see a defensive effort that more closely aligns with their principles.
The Hawks will push the pace and they will let fly from three-point range, much like the Nets did on Saturday.
It remains to be seen whether the players in question can deliver on that front, but the Bucks won’t want to see their defensive standards slide too much ahead of the postseason.