The Atlanta Hawks have their backs against the wall, going into Game 4. Will the Hawks dig deep enough to prevent the Milwaukee Bucks from taking a commanding 3-1 series lead? Or, will the Bucks move to within a win away from barging into the 2021 NBA Finals?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, June 30, at 8:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Atlanta Hawks (1-2, 0-1 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Trae Young (questionable)
- SG: Bogdan Bogdanovic (probable)
- SF: Kevin Huerter
- PF: John Collins
- C: Clint Capela
It would be incredibly frustrating for the Hawks if Trae Young ultimately won’t have the green light to play in Game 4, especially with Atlanta ceding momentum to the raging Bucks. Young hurt his ankle in Game 3’s 113-102 home loss to Milwaukee and has been diagnosed with a bone bruise.
Compounding the anxiety for Atlanta is the status of Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is also probable because of a knee problem. But here’s the thing: the Hawks can’t afford to go down 3-1 with Game 5 in Milwaukee. Even at less than 100%, the Hawks could be forced to let Young play. In that case, guys like Danilo Gallinari and John Collins would have to assume bigger roles on the offensive end.
Collins is having success despite a limited usage, and with Young hurting, the former Wake Forest beast, he is expected to take on a heavier load. Collins is averaging 14.3 points on 57 FG% in the series. Now is also a good time for Kevin Huerter to go off again after scoring just 11 points (4/11 FG) in Game 3.
The Hawks are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 home games.
ROAD TEAM: Milwaukee Bucks (2-1, 1-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Khris Middleton
- SF: P.J. Tucker
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- C: Brook Lopez
After taking a pie in the face in Game 1’s loss to the Hawks, the Bucks have given Atlanta a beating in back-to-back games. The Bucks have won the last two games of the series by a total of 45 points.
Although the Bucks are struggling to find their rhythm from behind the arc, making just 32.1% of their 3-point shots in the series, they’re compensating for that with their unstoppable dominance in the paint. The Bucks have the lead among all teams in the conference semifinals round with a staggering output of 62.7 points in the paint per game.
They’re also averaging 17.7 fastbreak points in the series. No other conference finals team is scoring more than 10 points in transition per contest. Antetokounmpo is having his way against Atlanta’s defense. Through three games, the Greek Freak has put up 30.7 points on 59.4 FG% while also pulling down 10.7 rebounds per game. Khris Middleton has been heating up as well, as he erupted for 38 points with 11 boards in Game 3.
The Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
Spread: Projecting how Game 4 would play out is tricky because of Trae Young’s situation. But I’m also feeling optimistic about going against the flow (especially after the undermanned Clippers stunned Phoenix on the road Tuesday). Take the Hawks to cover (+7).
Over/Under: The Over is due after two Unders in a row. With or without Young, the Hawks’ offense will be better spread out in Game 4. Take the Over (219.0)