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Milwaukee Bucks & Atlanta Hawks To Play Game 7 Sunday


The Orlando Magic will finally learn who their second round opponent will be on Sunday afternoon. The Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks in Philips Arena at 1:00 pm EST. The game will be televised by ABC.

Below you’ll find a bevy of links pertaining to that game (similar to the ‘Orlando Magic News & Notes’ feature).

The Atlanta Hawks vow to keep their good vibes going in game 6.

"“That’s championship basketball,” forward Josh Smith said. “We’ve got to keep doing it like that. It shows how hungry we are. We don’t want to let each other down. We feel like we’ve got something special, and we don’t want it to end.”Yet as high as the victory lifted the Hawks, it only prolonged the series. They still have to beat the Bucks once more to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals against Orlando.“If we don’t win Game 7, this win won’t mean anything,” Hawks guard Jamal Crawford said after scoring a game-high 24 points in Game 6."

Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has that story here.

Al Horford has given the Bucks a lot of problems.

"And the 23-year-old Horford is showing the Milwaukee Bucks he has become one of the league’s top young big men.He has posted three double-doubles in the Eastern Conference playoff series, including a 15-point, 15-rebound effort in the Hawks’ 83-69 victory in Game 6 Friday night.Containing the former Florida star could be a key factor in the Bucks’ chances to defeat the Hawks in a decisive seventh game Sunday at Philips Arena in Atlanta.“He’s been very good,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “The minute we go small, he takes us right down in the box. And when Kurt (Thomas) is on him, they go to their pick-and-pop game.“When our help has gotten there and given a good, long show on Al, we’ve been OK. Kurt has been able to recover. When we’ve been dozing off a little on the weak side, Al just steps up and knocks it down. We’ve just got to make sure we’re active on the weak side and provide support for Kurt.”"

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has that story here.

The Hawks added some new defensive wrinkles in game 6.

"“When you’ve lost three in a row, you don’t mind tweaking a thing or two,” Hawks guard Joe Johnson said. “So we were all for it.”The Hawks still used their base switching defense at times but played more straight-up man-to-man defense, especially early. Center Al Horford and forward Josh Smith helped the guards on screens but then retreated back to their man.That strategy allowed the Bucks fewer opportunities to match their guards on the perimeter against Horford and Smith. But it also put more pressure on the Hawks’ guards to stay in front of their man and for Horford and Smith to quickly get back in position."

You can find that story here.

Peach Tree Hoops credits the victory to these changes.

"The key to the win was not how well the Hawks played offensively–because just by the numbers above, you can see they didn’t—it was how their energy and zone flummoxed the Bucks into doing even worse. Milwaukee, one of the worst shooting teams in the league during the regular season, made up for lost time by shooting a mere (32) percent from the floor."

You can read that story here.

Hawks Head Coach Mike Woodson used his experience in Detroit to help the Hawks in game 6.

"Woodson was an assistant coach on Larry Brown’s staff on that 2004 Pistons team that had won the first two games of their series with New Jersey at home but then lost the next two on the road. Detroit then suffered a devastating triple-overtime loss at home in Game 5. The Pistons then had to gather themselves and win Game 6 on the road before winning the series with a home victory in Game 7.“We talked about that,” said Woodson. “After walking out of that locker room the other night (after Game 5), it was tough. After you control the game for 44 or 45 minutes and then you let it get away. . . sure I did, I brought up (2004) because it brought back memories for me as a coach.“Sitting in that locker room after losing that triple overtime to New Jersey. Knowing that we had to go back to Jersey and get it back or we go home. That (Detroit) team went and got it done.”"

Tom Enlund of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has that story here.

Milwaukee’s offense is something to worry about.

"What’s worrying is that this was a strain of Bucks basketball that we’ve seen sporadically throughout the season, both on the road and within the confines of what is possibly the loudest building in the Eastern Conference, and that 88 games into the season, they haven’t been able to do much to remedy it. The same story, every time: Milwaukee could just not buy one, and it hardly mattered who was doing the shooting, the driving and the missing."

Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sport’s Ball Don’t Lie has that story here.

The Milwaukee Bucks hope to take advantage of one last chance.

"What will be in store for the only seventh game in a first-round series this season? It will unfold in a nationally televised game at noon Sunday on ABC, and the winner will move on to meet the second-seeded Orlando Magic in the conference semifinals.“We’ve got to go out and have confidence,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said after a brief practice session Saturday. “When we were 18-25, if you had said we were going to have a seven-game first-round series, we would have all taken it.“We had an opportunity last night and we did a poor job of taking advantage of it, but now we have another opportunity. And we’ve got to do a better job.”"

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has that story here.

Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wonders if the Bucks can handle the pressure.

"“We’re going to have to stick together,” Stackhouse said. “They (Hawks) feel like the ball is back in their court, but they thought the ball was back in their court for Game 5. You have to embrace it, you have to love it. There was nothing promised to ever get back into a Game 7.“I’ve been in this situation before. There isn’t anything sweeter than to win a Game 7 in another team’s building. We have a chance to do something special, but we just can’t get lost in the moment and know it’s going to be a hard game.”"

You can find that story here.

Bucksketball also discusses the pressure the Bucks are under.

"“We thought he was feeling it a little bit early in the game, he (Brandon Jennings) played eight minutes and we took him out, hoped he could rest and shake it off a little bit. This is his first time going through this, this is the biggest game he’s ever played in.”Perhaps it’s troubling that the Bucks point guard is feeling the heat as he heads down to Atlanta for game seven. If it shows in his performance the way it appeared to on Friday’s game six loss, it could spell another defeat for the Bucks and the end to their unbelievable season. But just as making the playoffs wasn’t just about this year, his willingness to take on and feel that heat isn’t just about this season either. Jennings knows he’s the leader and wants that responsibility. Even if it negatively affects his game right now, it’s something that should prove to be a terrific learning experience for the rest of his career.Whether or not he’s the only Bucks player feeling the pressure is tough to say. The veteran Bucks won’t cede to much and you’d be hard pressed to find looser guys after this one than Jerry Stackhouse or Kurt Thomas."

You can find that story here.

For more on the Bucks, head over to Bucksketball, Brew Hoop and We’re Bucked.

For more on the Hawks, check out Soaring Down South, Peach Tree Hoops, and Hoopinion.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and at Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).