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Paul Millsap says going small could help Hawks vs. Wizards: 'Our small-ball is better than theirs'

Paul Millsap says going small could help Hawks vs. Wizards: 'Our small-ball is better than theirs'

The Hawks are in an unenviable spot down 0-2 to the Wizards as they head back to Atlanta, though Paul Millsap could make the argument their position isn't as bad as it looks, that the series could be viewed as 0-0. Millsap also thinks he knows how the Hawks can have an advantage over the Wizards.

Millsap believes the Hawks can win when they go small and play him at the center position. That was seen at times in Game 2 on Wednesday, as Millsap played the five and guarded Marcin Gortat. The Hawks were forced to go that way with Dwight Howard in foul trouble, but that may not be the only reason he logged just 20 minutes after playing 29 in Game 1.

Millsap understands the numbers and knows some of the Hawks' best lineups this season haven't involved Howard. Here are Atlanta's five best lineups this season according to Basketball Reference:

Millsap must know that because he was pretty confident when he said this following the Hawks' Game 2 loss to the Wizards:

"It's simple. Our small-ball is better than theirs. We think we play small-ball better than anybody in the league. That's one of our better lineups. That's when we can push the tempo and get up and down the court. I think we've taken advantage of that."

Atlanta may need to get creative to get back in this series. Perhaps going small is the best way, though the Wizards can play that game, too, thanks to Markieff Morris' versatility.

[RELATED: Howard answers almost every question with 'I don't know']

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Best moments from the Wizards' statement win over the Bucks

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USA Today Sports Images

Best moments from the Wizards' statement win over the Bucks

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 99-88 win over the Bucks on Monday night in Milwaukee...

1. Remember how the Wizards didn't like Giannis Antetokounmpo running up the score on them last year? Antetokounmpo was at it again getting under the Wizards' skin on Monday night.

Early on he decided to instigate an argument with Markieff Morris after drawing an and-1 foul call:

Antetokounmpo knows who he was messing with, right? 

[RELATED: GIANNIS, KEEF GET HEATED]

2. Otto Porter finished this game with a game-high +22 in the box score. He had 12 points, 11 rebounds and three steals.

This was his best highlight. Left with little time on the shot clock, Porter hit one from way downtown:

3. Bradley Beal (23 points) got Antetokounmpo back with a sick play later in the second quarter. Beal caught Antetokounmpo from behind with a chasedown block, then stared at him for good measure:

That's cold blooded.

[RELATED: BEAL MAKES NBA HISTORY]

4. That was Beal's best play, but this one put him in the history books. Beal hit a three to become the youngest player in NBA history to get to 700 career three-pointers:

Of course Wall was the one with the assist. We've seen that before.

5. Wall had a solid night with 15 points and six assists as he battled a swollen left knee. It didn't bother him much on this play:

[RELATED: CHRIS MILLER'S SOLE TALK]

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Wizards continue dominance of Bucks with huge road win

Wizards continue dominance of Bucks with huge road win

The Washington Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks 99-88 on Monday night.

Here's analysis of what went down...

Statement Win:

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks still have a ways to go if they plan on catching up to the Washington Wizards.

In what has become a five-year trend, the Wizards continue to have Milwaukee's number. The Wizards have now won 15 of their last 20 meetings going back to 2012. There is no question the Bucks are one of the most talented young teams in the NBA, but John Wall and the Wizards have absolutely owned them.

Wall was able to return after missing Sunday's game and that was a big storyline, but Kelly Oubre, Jr. stole the show. He came through with 18 points in 22 minutes on 6-of-8 shooting. That included 10 points in the fourth quarter. He was 3-for-5 from three-point range.

All five Wizards starters reached double figures and the same was the case for the Bucks. Marcin Gortat (10 points, 15 rebounds) took advantage of the Bucks being the NBA's worst rebounding team. Otto Porter (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Bradley Beal (23 points) also came up big.

Antetokounmpo had 23 points, but shot just 38.1 percent from the field. The Wizards were playing the second game of a back-to-back, but it was the Bucks who looked sluggish.

RELATED: NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

Wall Played:

After missing Sunday's game against the Raptors with a swollen left knee, Wall returned to the Wizards lineup on Monday in time to face one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. Wall's presence certainly helped, though it didn't appear like he is fully back to 100 percent.

Wall didn't have the same burst we are used to, and he didn't shoot well, but he was productive. He finished with 15 points and six assists.

Wall looked to be more cautious than he was on Friday night against the Heat, when he was held back by the injury.

RELATED: BUCKS COACH JASON KIDD MISSES GAME VS. WIZARDS

 

Beal Makes History:

With his first three of the game in the third quarter, Beal made history as the youngest player ever to hit 700 threes in the NBA.
Naturally, it was assisted by Wall.

Here's the play:

The list of players with the most three-pointers before their 25th birthday is a great one and it includes another Wizard:

1. Gilbert Arenas: 24 years, 316 days (779)
2. J.R. Smith: 24 years, 149 days (777)
3. Kyrie Irving: 24 years, 364 days (701)
4. Kevin Durant: 24 years, 198 days (701)
5. Bradley Beal: 24 years, 145 days (700)

 

Giannis & 'Keef Ignite Fireworks:

Anytime these teams face each other these days, it's worth recalling how the Wizards didn't like Antetokounmpo staying in late in a game last December to chase his career-high. Though there were no major dustups in this one, there were two moments that suggested the Wizards do not care much for the Greek Freak.

This first one was instigated by Antetokounmpo. Early in the first quarter he drew a foul on Markieff Morris and then talked some trash.

The play earned both players technical fouls.

Then, in the second quarter Beal caught Antetokounmpo with a chasedown block. Aftewards, Beal gave him a nice stare as he walked by:

A playoff series between these teams would be fun to watch.

 

Up Next:

The Wizards have a day off before heading to Charlotte to see the Hornets for the first time this season.

Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington Plus.