7:30 p.m. at MILWAUKEE • BMO Harris Bradley Center • FSN, 830-AM
Preview: The Eastern Conference is the weaker of the two in the league, and the Bucks are the least of the East. They lost 11 straight games in November and entered the weekend 3-9 in December. They were 3-11 at home entering Friday and 3-11 on the road … This will be the first meeting of the season between the teams. … Bucks head coach Larry Drew is a longtime assistant who got his shot in 2010 when he took over the Hawks for two seasons. He wasn't brought back after last season, but he was named Bucks coach in May.
Players to watch: Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo each entered the weekend with 13.9-point scoring averages, tops on a team with the third worst offense in the NBA. Knight had six points, a career-high 14 assists and eight rebounds on Monday in an overtime loss at Charlotte. The Bucks have not had 13 healthy players available for a game since Nov. 23, but that is expected to change this weekend. Center Larry Sanders, out since Nov. 3 when he tore a ligament in his right thumb during a fight at a Milwaukee club, is set to return. So is forward Ersan Ilyasova, who missed the past three games with a sore right ankle. Guard Nate Wolters, who lit it up at South Dakota State, is averaging 6.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists,
Injuries: Wolves C Ronny Turiaf (elbow) and F Chase Budinger (knee surgery) remain listed as out. Bucks G/F Carlos Delfino, C Zaza Pachulia (foot), G Gary Neal, F/C Larry Sanders and F Ersa Ilyasova listed as day-to-day.
La VELLE E. NEAL III