Bucks' Brogdon returns home to face Atlanta
ATLANTA -- Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon, last season's NBA Rookie of the Year, gets an opportunity to return to his hometown when the Bucks visit the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
Milwaukee (3-2) will play Atlanta (1-5) in the first of the three meetings between the two clubs this season at 3 p.m. at Philips Arena.
Brogdon grew up in the Atlanta suburbs and attended Greater Atlanta Christian, where he was an all-state player who led the school to two state championships and was named Mr. Georgia Basketball. From there, he went to the University of Virginia and had a stellar career.
Brogdon was Milwaukee's second-round pick in 2016 and ranked toward the top of most statistical categories among rookies. He led rookies in assists (4.2), steals (1.1), was second in minutes (26.4), third in points (10.2) and ninth in rebounds (2.8). He became the second Milwaukee player to earn the Rookie of the Year Award, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won it in 1969-70.
Brogdon missed one game with a sprained left ankle, but returned on Thursday and scored 16 points in the 96-89 loss to the Boston Celtics. Milwaukee had beaten Boston the previous week.
Milwaukee is led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 28 points. That was nine points below this season average and Antetokounmpo scored only 11 in the first half before finding his range in the third quarter.
"In the first half, I couldn't make plays for my team because there was a lot of people in the paint," Antetokounmpo said. "In the second half, things opened up a little bit. I was trying to be aggressive and make something happen."
Antetokounmpo has feasted against the Hawks. He averaged 26.8 points in four games against the Hawks last year, including games of 44 and 34 points. In 14 career games, he is averaging 16.7 points and 7.6 rebounds against Atlanta.
Atlanta is coming off a 105-100 loss to Denver in its home opener on Friday, as former Hawk Paul Millsap returned to Philips Arena and scored seven of his 16 points in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks did get point guard Dennis Schroder back from a sprained ankle that caused him to miss two games. Schroder scored 20 points against Denver. Ersan Ilyasova also returned after missing two games with a left knee sprain and scored seven.
Atlanta, in the early stages of a rebuilding job, has lost five straight games since beating Dallas in the season opener. The Hawks have been effective at forcing turnovers, ranking fifth in the league with 17 per game, but the offense has struggled. Since scoring 117 against the Mavericks in the opener, Atlanta has not produced more than 101 points. The Hawks average 98.5 points, ranking them 13th among 15 teams in the Eastern Conference.
"We're battling," Atlanta guard Kent Bazemore said. "It's tough. The guys are fighting, trying to make the right plays, and we're growing. That's the encouraging thing."
Atlanta won three of four meetings against Milwaukee last season. The Hawks had their four-game winning streak against the Bucks broken in the final meeting, when the Bucks won 100-97 in Milwaukee on March 24.