Trae Young (plus-7.6 Offensive Box Plus/Minus in the playoffs) missed Game 4 because of a deep bone bruise in his right foot. He exhausted every avenue to try and find a way to return to play but he had severe lack of mobility and significant degree of pain, which made it impossible. Before the game I thought, ok, Young is out but the Hawks have one of the coldest hoopers to do it in Lou Williams (plus-1.9 Offensive Box Plus/Minus in the playoffs) and you best believe that he will go out firing.
Lou Will came to Atlanta at the trade deadline and near retired, yet he just checked into a playoff game in the Eastern Conference Finals and filled in for their best player. It was Williams’ first career playoff start. Lou Will in his first ever playoff start and he finished with 21 points on 7 of 9 shooting and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc, eight assists and five rebounds. The game is about a bucket. Always. Not only can Lou Will get them in his sleep, but he can create them for others. He is the epitome of a pure hooper. Lou ran the Hawks whole offense beautifully. He is a natural and thrives off of pressure. He got the green light to cook and he helped the Hawks shock the Bucks 110-88.
The Hawks understood the assignment: next man up. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter, Clint Capela, Cam Reddish and Danilo Gallinari all scored in double figures. Bogdanovic had 20 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds and made six of his 14 3-point shot attemps, Huerter scored 15 points despite being just 1-for-7 from 3-point range and Capela added 15 points and seven rebounds. Game 5 will take place on Tuesday at 8:30 PM ET at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Atlanta Hawks: 2.38
• Milwaukee Bucks: 1.64
• Atlanta Hawks: +3.5 (1.92)
• Milwaukee Bucks: -3.5 (1.89)
• Over 218.5 (1.92)
• Under 218.5 (1.89)
Key Points to Consider
Milwaukee’s effort was TERRIBLE. The Bucks came out flat because Trae Young was out. This was lack of coaching or leadership. Now how can we be confident in the Bucks winning it all? Can you imagine if Jordan, Bird, Magic, Kobe, faced a team with their best player out? It would have been a BLOWOUT before halftime.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 14 points in 24 minutes before leaving the game during the third quarter after suffering a hyperextended left knee. Giannis’ status for the remainder of the series is questionable. The Bucks hope that the injury looked worse than it actually was. Still, they trailed by 10 points when Giannis left so they can’t blame this loss on his injury. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton have to play a lot better on Thursday, especially Middleton.
After scoring 38 points in Game 3, including 20 points in the fourth quarter, Middleton had just 16 points on 6 of 17 shooting and 0 of 7 from 3-point range on Game 4. We expected him to regress after Sunday but not like this. With Giannis out and Trae Young possibly coming back for the Hawks, he has to carry the Bucks if they want to win this series. According to A. Sherrod Blakely of Bleacher Report, Young (foot) will be a game-time decision for Thursday. I like the Hawks to cover in Game 5, even if Young can’t play.
The Hawks are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points, 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as a road underdog, 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600, 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a winning home record, 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games and 13-4 ATS in the last 17 meetings in Milwaukee.
For the Hawks, Trae Young is projected to finish with 22.9 points, 8.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds, making 7.1 field goals in 16.7 attempts.
For the Bucks, Khris Middleton is expected to score 22.9 points with 6.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists, making 7.6 field goals in 16.4 attempts.
Two-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on the Hawks in this one. Average score in simulations is Milwaukee Bucks 110.0 to Atlanta Hawks 107.4.