The Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks were two of the busiest teams at the trade deadline, with both teams actually negotiating with each other on a possible Josh Smith deal. That trade never came to fruition, and it was the Bucks that ended up making the biggest deal at the deadline, acquiring J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb.
Redick is expected to make his debut on Saturday night when the Bucks and Hawks square off in Milwaukee. The shooting guard will come off the bench and inject some much-needed three-point shooting to a team that ranks just 21st in the NBA in three-point percentage. He has made a career-best 117 threes on the season while shooting 39.0 percent from deep. Not only should Redick improve the long-range shooting, but his ability to stretch the floor should provide more driving lanes for Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
The Bucks -- losers of two straight and eight of 10 -- are hoping the addition of Redick can help them maintain their eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, or perhaps even boost them up in the standings. Milwaukee has a nice 3½-game cushion over the Philadelphia 76ers, and are just two games behind the Boston Celtics for the seventh seed. The Bucks do have to be wary of the Toronto Raptors, however, as the Raptors are charging hard on the heels of the Rudy Gay trade.
As for Smith and Atlanta, they head into their six-game road trip winners of three of four. The Hawks beat the Sacramento Kings, 122-108, Friday night, with Smith tallying 18 points, six rebounds and four assists in the victory. Atlanta sits in sixth in the East with a 30-23 record, one game behind the Chicago Bulls.
Smith has had a lot of recent success against Milwaukee, giving them another reason to be bummed about not making the deal. In the last five meetings between the Hawks and Bucks, Smith has averaged 20.8 points, 15.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocks. This will be the first matchup this year between the two teams, and Atlanta won two of three contests last season.
In addition to Smith, Hawks big man Al Horford could be some trouble for the Bucks, who have only outrebounded one of their last 11 opponents. Larry Sanders has had a nice season in the middle for Milwaukee, but Luc Mbah a Moute and Ersan Ilyasova have left some things to be desired up front. There's a reason the Bucks were pushing for a Smith deal.
Time and location: 8:30 p.m. ET at the BMO Harris Bradley Center
TV: NBATV, SportSouth and Fox Sports Wisconsin
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