The Eastern Conference Finals have now turned into a Best-of-3 series, as the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks will battle it out in Game 5 at the Fiserv Forum, with the series tied at two games apiece. The main storyline in this one will be the status of both superstars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trae Young. Antetokounmpo hurt his knee in the Bucks game 4 loss and missed a portion of the game. Young didn’t play in game 4 as he suffered a right foot bone bruise. He is listed as questionable for Game 5. It’s time to take another look at both teams so you can get ready to make your bets against their NBA Conference Championship odds.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks Game 5 Betting Preview – NBA Eastern Conference Finals
In Game 4, the Hawks came to play without their best player. The Bucks had Antetokounmpo, and the Hawks were taking it to them. It was a wasted opportunity for the Bucks, as they had a chance to go up 3-1 with a full roster. Now that it’s unlikely that the “Greek Freak” will be able to take the floor in Game 5, it was a huge opportunity wasted by Milwaukee.
Now on to Game 5. Both teams will likely be without their star players, so someone else will have to step up for each squad. The Bucks will be looking for more from Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. Both of these players were recently named to the USA Olympic team that will be heading to Tokyo for the Olympics later this summer.
Khris Middleton will be a huge factor in whether the Bucks win or lose in Game 5. In Milwaukee’s two wins in the series, Middleton has averaged just over 26 points per game. In those two games, he shot over 50% from the field. In Milwaukee’s two losses, Middleton has struggled. He averaged 15 points per game while going 12-40 from the field. If Milwaukee has any chance of winning Game 5 without Antetokounmpo, Middleton will have to play well.
Another key for Milwaukee will be their defensive adjustments. If Young does take the floor for Atlanta, the Bucks will need to handle him in pick-and-roll situations. They can’t allow him to turn the corner and get open looks. They’ll have to continue to force him out by hard hedging or to trap him on the ball screens.
If Young isn’t able to play and Lou Williams steps into the starting lineup, they will have to contend with him. Williams has won numerous NBA 6th Man of the Year Awards because he brings instant offense off of the bench. He scored 21 points in Game 4. Milwaukee can’t let him get into a rhythm, and they can’t allow him to get to his main scoring spots on the floor.
As for the Hawks, if Young can’t play, they’ll look for more scoring from Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter, and Williams. Bogdanovic should be able to play with a sore knee. These three can score, but they struggle on the defensive end, so they’ll need to pick things up at that end of the floor.
The NBA Playoffs have lacked a lot of star power, as many star players have missed games due to injury. We could see this in Game 5 of this series. Even if Young and Antetokounmpo aren’t able to take the floor, we should still see a very competitive game. Milwaukee can’t afford to lose on their home floor, and Atlanta knows that they have a golden opportunity to take the lead in this series. Game 5 should be a fun one!