- Tied 2-2, the Atlanta Hawks visit the Milwaukee Bucks for Game 5 of the East Final
- Giannis Antetokounmpo doubtful with knee injury; Trae Young battling bone bruise in foot
- Read below for the latest odds, projected lineups and betting preview
We’re down to a best-of-three in the Eastern Conference Finals, and uncertainty abounds in a pivotal Game 5 showdown on Thursday night.
The Atlanta Hawks crushed the Milwaukee Bucks 110-88 in Game 4, despite Trae Young sitting with a bone bruise in his right foot. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a nasty knee injury that somehow didn’t tear ligaments, but his status is also in question.
It’s why oddsmakers have posted the tightest line of this series to date, with the Bucks a 2-point home favorite.
Hawks vs Bucks Game 5 Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total Points|
|Atlanta Hawks||+2 (-108)||+108||Over 215.5 (-108)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-2 (-112)||-126||Under 215.5 (-112)|
Odds as of June 30. Tip-off is Thursday at 8:30pm ET
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The Bucks got the best available news possible, with Antetokounmpo suffering a hyperextended left knee, but no structural damage. He even returned back to the bench and looked ready to return to the floor in Game 4, though he retreated to the locker room with the game out of hand.
There is no structural damage to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s left knee after landing awkwardly last night during Game 4.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 30, 2021
Antetokounmpo is doubtful for Game 5, but there remains the possibility of him returning at some point in this series. Bobby Portis would slide into the starting lineup if Giannis is out.
The Hawks are also quite wounded. Young will be a gametime decision after that freak ankle turn in Game 3. Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) is listed as probable. Overshadowed by Antetokounmpo’s injury was an eye injury to center Clint Capela. He’s listed as questionable.
Hawks vs Bucks Projected Lineups
|Lou Williams||PG||Jrue Holiday|
|Kevin Huerter||SG||Khris Middleton|
|Danilo Gallinari||SF||PJ Tucker|
|John Collins||PF||Bobby Portis|
|Clint Capela||C||Brook Lopez|
Hawks Soar Together
Atlanta quite possibly put together their best effort of the postseason. Minus their key offensive hub in Young, the Hawks were crisp and played with a desperation Milwaukee never matched.
— NBA (@NBA) June 30, 2021
Lou Williams, who stepped into the starting lineup, led a balanced attack, putting up 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field, while dishing a team-high eight dimes to go with five rebounds.
Five other Hawks hit double digits, including Bogdanovic finally looking like his sharpshooting self, as he went 6-for-14 from downtown en route to 20 points.
🔥 18 PTS
🔥 6/11 3PM pic.twitter.com/IqJ2tRlnHm
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 30, 2021
Capela chipped in 15 points and seven rebounds, while Cam Reddish made big shots in his 23 minutes, finishing with 12 points and five boards. Kevin Huerter was also key, with 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
They all had a hand in a game-clinching 25-8 run to end the third with Antetokounmpo injured.
Will Bucks Show Up?
For a franchise that has taken their lumps in previous playoffs, it’s unbelievable the Bucks literally no-showed in the biggest game of their season — even before the Giannis injury. They shot just 38.1% from the field and had five turnovers in the first quarter. They posted only 38 points in the half to trail by 13, and they never recovered.
Khris Middleton. Jrue Holiday.
You've got a best of 3 now with home court advantage. It's time to deliver. If we really are a championship team we need to prove it right now.
— Nathan Marzion (@nathanmarzion) July 1, 2021
Khris Middleton’s 38-point outburst in Game 3 now seems like an outlier, as he reverted back to his poor East Finals form. He finished 6-for-17 from the field for 16 points, and missed all seven of his three-point tries.
Jrue Holiday shot the same 6-for-17 mark, finishing with 19 points and nine assists. Giannis was the only other player on the roster to finish in double digits.
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) June 30, 2021
Their dominance in paint points evaporated, as the Hawks outscored them in that area 46-44, while their defense collapsed in the second half. The Bucks alloweed Atlanta to shoot 54.5% from the field, and 8-for-20 (40%) from deep.
What’s the Best Bet?
The Hawks have captured Game 5 in their previous two series, while the Bucks lost to the Nets in their only Game 5 of these playoffs.
"It's not impossible for the Bucks to win without Giannis. … Budenholzer should say, 'Giannis might be back for the Finals, let's get him to the Finals. Giannis has gotten us this far, Giannis has carried us the last few years, let's carry him for a week.'" — @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/sUZFfVjNKy
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) June 30, 2021
While the Bucks should be better at home, if Giannis can’t go, Mike Budenholzer and the Milwaukee coaching staff must create better mismatches to let Holiday, Middleton and Brook Lopez to go to work, rather just running their usual sets.
The Hawks definitely miss Young, but Game 4 showed they can generate goo team offense without him — they posted a series-high 26 assists in their Game 4 win. In a game that should be a slugfest, that should be enough to carry them to a W.
- Pick: Hawks +2 (-112) and UNDER 215.5 (-112)