NBA Free Picks: Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Atlanta Hawks

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.

BetDSI is the best online sportsbook to wager on the NBA and they have the latest odds on this and all other games on the schedule.

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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Stomach bug sends more kids to doctor

Oakland Tribune February 2, 2007 | Rebecca Vesely Bay Area pediatricians are seeing a sharp uptick in numbers of children sickened with a gastrointestinal illness similar to the norovirus hitting nursing homes and cruise ships this winter.

Over the past several weeks, dozens and even hundreds of children have turned up in emergency rooms and urgent care centers with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and high fever.

Our pediatric ER has been inundated, said Dr. Bernard Dannenberg, director of pediatric emergency medicine at Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital at Stanford.

The diagnosis is acute gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, an inflammation of the stomach and small intestines and a common illness among children and infants around the world.

Both norovirus and rotavirus can result in acute gastroenteritis, but its unknown if this is the cause of the childrens ailments, according to area pediatricians.

Acute gastroenteritis is characterized by sudden onset, vomiting and diarrhea and can include muscle cramps, headache and fever. It is highly contagious and can last one to 10 days.

While it is common in the summertime, its unusual to see so many cases this time of year, Dannenberg said.

Since last weekend, about one-third of children seen in the emergency department at Lucile Packard have had the illness, or 12 to 24 children per day.

Ive seen 15 kids in a row, and 10 have it, Dannenberg said.

Most are being treated with oral rehydration tablets but some require IV fluids to reverse severe dehydration. None have been hospitalized, Dannenberg said. lucilepackardchildrenshospitals.com lucile packard childrens hospitals

Childrens Hospital Oakland began seeing a surge in cases at the end of December. The hospital is treating hundreds more patients than normal this time of year, and admissions from the ER are up more than 25 percent, said spokeswoman Diana Yee.

Kaiser Permanente centers are also seeing an increase in these symptoms among children, said Dr. Randy Bergen, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Kaiser Walnut Creek.

Definitely in my practice and across the East Bay, a number of pediatric practices have seen vomiting and diarrhea that looks like norovirus, Bergen said.

Of the patients treated at area Kaiser weekend and daytime urgent care clinics in the past week, 10 to 20 percent were children with the gastrointestinal illness, Bergen said.

This is just an additional player, he said, noting that flu cases and bronchial infections are up as well, as is expected this time of year.

As of Monday, 370 cases of influenza A and 32 cases of influenza B were reported by Kaiser Permanente Northern California, which provides flu surveillance data to the state. That was up from 160 cases the previous week and 61 cases in the week after New Years Day.

Flu numbers havent been this high for one week since late 2003, when Kaiser reported a peak of about 380 cases. this web site lucile packard childrens hospitals

Kaiser may be catching more cases because its laboratory is using a more sensitive test for the flu virus than in years past. February is typically the peak month for the flu.

The stomach bug showing up at area hospitals appears to be affecting children of all ages, from infants to schoolchildren. A return to school after the holiday break may be contributing to the problem, pediatricians said.

You get a lot of children together and its the perfect place to spread it around, Bergen said.

Nursing homes and cruise ships have been hit hard by norovirus this winter. Numerous nursing homes have reported outbreaks and were under quarantine. About 300 passengers and crew of the luxury ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 fell ill with norovirus before it arrived in San Francisco last week.

Its been an unusually big year for norovirus, said Dr. Howard Backer, chief of the immunization branch of the California Department of Health Services. The department does not track individual cases of norovirus but does investigate outbreaks.

Its not a surprise to see it in the hospitals, especially pediatric hospitals, Backer said, because it is spread easily among children.

Parents should practice proper hygiene precautions, such as frequent hand washing, but they shouldnt be overly alarmed.

I dont see the warning bell yet that were facing something odd here, Dannenberg said. The children seem to be handling it well.

Contact Rebecca Vesely at rvesely@angnewspapers.com or (510) 208- 6408.

Rebecca Vesely

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