The Atlanta Hawks are jockeying for playoff position and they may get an easy win if the Milwaukee Bucks don’t show up for the game tonight. The Bucks were demolished in their last game out, which could easily be one of their most embarrassing outings of the season.
Milwaukee had won three straight by an average of 22.3 points before falling 87-56 at Boston on Sunday. The Bucks, who joined the NBA before the 1968-69 season, had never scored so few points. The Bucks are last in the NBA in points per game (91.2) and field-goal percentage (42.5). Their 31.4 percent shooting Sunday marked their second-worst performance of the season.
Milwaukee is 10th in the Eastern Conference, 1 1/2 games behind Indiana and Charlotte for the eighth and final playoff spot. So although they have played horribly they still have a shot at the NBA playoffs.
Atlanta is far more secure in fifth place in the East, although it has dropped 10 of 15. The Hawks ended a four-game skid with a 91-82 win over Portland on Saturday. They realize that if they continue to drop games they could lose their position in the standings.
The short-handed Hawks were without starting center Al Horford, out with a sprained ankle. Horford’s potential absence Tuesday would be a major factor since he has averaged 16.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in three meetings with the Bucks this season. Zaza Pachulia started in his place Saturday and had six points and six boards.
The Bucks are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a loss against the spread and rebound with a big win against the Hawks to recover from their embarrassing loss.
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