Hawks vs Bucks, Game 1 starts 5:30 PM ET. You might look at this game and say that if no Andrew Bogut then the Hawks have to win. Not necessarily the case, because the Bucks still do have pretty good team with Jennings, Salmons,Delfino,& Stackhouse. Ok so maybe Bogut would be nice too. But they still have a dynamic point guard (Jennings), a good defender (Salmons), a deadly 3 point shooter (Delfino) , and a veteran who can provide some energy off the bench (Stackhouse). Despite losing a 7-0 foot tall beast (Bogut), let's not forget that the Hawks are pretty undersized. There Starting center is Al Horford and he is 6-10, so the Bucks will have a little less trouble scoring in the paint if it was a 7-0 foot center.
The Hawks have gotten there first #3 seed since Dominique was with them (yeah it's been that long). But led by MVP candidate Joe Johnson the Hawks look like a dangerous team. The Hawks to me are definitely a team that could knock off the Cavs in the playoffs. At 53-29 the Hawks haven't gotten the respect that they deserved and I think that will be extra motivation for the Hawks coming in.
The Bucks are considered to be young team but they do have some playoff experience on the roster. The Bucks lost there most valuable player in Andrew Bogut. Now a most valuable player is very hard to replace, but you better believe former point guard and head coach Scott Skiles will have his team ready to play.
Keys for the Hawks
Win the Battle of the boards: The Bucks are sixth in the league in rebounding, while the Hawks are in 17th in the league in crashing the boards. There is no way you can lose the battle of the board, especially when Andrew Bogut is out.
Be Physical: Bogut is out so the Bucks aren't going to be that physical inside, so go hard at that him with everything you have. Al Horford & Josh Smith are the best on the Hawks in being physical in the paint. If your the Hawks you have to get a away from the 3 point shot and feed Horford & Smith in the paint.
Key For Bucks
Give the Ball to Stackhouse: With Bogut out another player will have to step up on the offensive end. Jerry Stackhouse has done very well in the games he's played for the bucks. But now he has to step it up a notch. Don't try to be the Stackhouse from the Philly & Detroit days.But try to be a player that will at least average double figure in points and hit the important shots when your team needs you, be a leader on the floor and make sure to help the young guys minimize their mistakes.
Shut down Crawford: Crawford is a guy if he heats up, he won't cool down. So you have to keep hi out of rhythm, and don't give him the easy shots. Make sure there is a hand in his face all the time he's on the floor and the ball is in hand.
Prediction: Hawks 120, Bucks 98 Hawks take 1-0 lead
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