This isn’t exactly the Conference Finals matchup that the NBA was hoping for. However, Adam Silver and the NBA higher-ups are just going to have to settle. We’re not going to see Brooklyn’s Big 3, or we won’t be seeing the “Trust the Process” Philadelphia 76ers. Even though this isn’t the sexy matchup, the Atlanta Hawks against the Milwaukee Bucks should still be a very exciting series. Let’s take a closer look at both teams and how they arrive to Game 1 of the series so you can set down your bets against their NBA Conference Championship odds.
Atlanta Hawks vs Milwaukee Bucks Betting Preview – NBA Eastern Conference Finals
The Atlanta Hawks earned a shot at the Eastern Conference Championship by outlasting the Philadelphia 76ers in seven games. The Hawks fought through a bad shooting night by Trae Young and got some clutch shooting from Kevin Huerter to lead them to the win.
Early in the season, the Hawks were one of the most disappointing teams in the league. The front office made the decision to fire Lloyd Pierce and replace him with assistant Nate McMillan. When McMillan took over, he made some changes to the offense, and the Hawks started to soar. They have been playing great basketball throughout McMillan’s tenure.
The Milwaukee Bucks made it to the conference finals by way of an overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 7 of their semifinal series. Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo dueled it out, but it was Antetokounmpo and the Bucks who triumphed in the end.
Game 1 of the series will be played in Milwaukee. One of the key factors in this series will be how Nate McMillan chooses to guard Antetokounmpo. He’ll more than likely follow the blueprint that many others have used. He’ll probably choose to sag off of the “Greek Freak,” and when he’s in the open court, the defenders will try to form a “wall” to stop him from getting into the lane.
While we’re on the subject of guarding superstars, Mike Budenholzer will have to figure out a way to slow Trae Young down. Jrue Holiday will probably draw the tough task of guarding Young. Khris Middleton may also get his chance to guard Young as well. We could also see Budenholzer pull out some traps to try and slow Young down off of the pick and roll.
While Holiday and Middleton have been very good compliments to Antetokounmpo this postseason, the Hawks have had numerous players step up to help Young. We’ll see who it will be in this series. The Hawks really need Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari to play well in this series. If the Hawks perimeter shooting is suspect throughout the series, it will be a tough task for them to win.
Even though many thought that the Eastern Conference was going to be won by the Brooklyn Nets, the Bucks and Hawks have proven that they’re worthy of representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. We know that we’re going to get big performances from the superstars, but it’ll be the complimentary players who will be the difference in this series. We’ll see which guys will step it up and help lead their team one step closer to winning the NBA title.