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NBA Atlanta Hawks

Bucks Bank Win, Prepare for Madison Square Garden

Corey Maggette sparked the Bucks to a win last night. He will need more help tonight in the Garden.

One down, 26 more to go.

The Bucks were far from brilliant last night against the Timberwolves, but they won the game and that’s all this team needs right now. I thought the absence of Corey Brewer would mean more open looks for the Bucks and less fast breaks for Minnesota – both of those predictions were true.

In fact the Bucks were so open from the 3-point line that they jacked up 30 attempts. Unfortunately, they hit only seven. Despite only going 23 percent from behind the arc and 38 percent from the field, Milwaukee managed to take a 94-88 victory.

The absence of Brewer was evident as Minnesota scored only two fast-break points while the Bucks netted 17 in transition, mostly in the second half. Let me take this opportunity to say the Bucks need to attack the rim. Much too often someone will drive and opt to kick the ball out for a jump shot instead of trying to draw contact. The one man who is always aggressive in heading to the rim is Corey Maggette, who gets my nod for the game’s MVP.

Maggette ended with 20 points, but more importantly, provided a spark and energy off the bench anytime the game was tight or the Bucks were down. And get this, he even played very good defense. That’s right, Maggette was locking it down for the most part. He drew a number of charges when the team needed it most and was overall pretty good on that end of the floor.

Speaking of defense, Carlos Delfino needs to brush up a little. He was smoked by Carmelo Anthony last week and again by Michael Beasley last night. I’m not saying he needs to be Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, but he does need to do a little more.

Brandon Jennings and Jon Brockman also had solid games with Jennings netting 27 points and Brockman ripping down 14 rebounds against a tough matchup with Kevin Love.

Tonight is the big debut for Carmelo Anthony in the Garden. The Bucks will need to shoot better tonight to have a chance. If John Salmons can have a game like he did against Denver last week, I think the Bucks can take it. Andrew Bogut should have a much easier time scoring tonight without Kevin Love and Darko Milicic (yes, he is a good defender) protecting the paint. If Bogut and Salmons get going full speed ahead, the Bucks win.

There is also a chance the Knicks come out on fire and then have an adrenaline dump in the second quarter. That would be nice as well. Either way, should be an electric atmosphere.

Afterthoughts

Deron Williams is now on the Nets. Just like the Knicks, the Nets gave up a lot to get him. I still think the Nets will be a pretty beatable team for the rest of the season … Speaking of that trade, Jazz players and employees are saying Williams is not happy about it. Remember when he used to play hard no matter what and show leadership? … St. Louis Cards fans are fretting over Adam Wainwright missing the season. He is spectacular, but the only way you win the NL if you’re not the Phillies or Giants is if you get hot hitting. With or without Wainwright, no NL staff is Philadelphia or San Francisco good.