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Jonathan Macri gives us his pick for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction: Game 3 Picks

Have the Eastern Conference Finals turned? Let’s take a look.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction

View odds for the game here.

Oh my. That was rough.

All postseason long, the Atlanta Hawks have succeeded for one reason above all else: they display a supreme confidence up and down the roster.

From Trae Young to Kevin Huerter to Clint Capela all the way on down, these guys not only believe they’re capable of playing with anyone; they know it.

So it’s fair to wonder how that confidence might be shaken after a 34-point beat down in Game 2 at Milwaukee that wasn’t even as close as the final score would indicate.

The primary reason for concern might actually be Trae Young. After scoring nearly 50 in Game 1, Young struggled mightily from deep on Friday night, hitting just one of his eight attempts. He’s now shooting 31.5 percent from long range in the postseason after a season in which he hit just 34.3 percent from three.

It’s gotten to the point where the Bucks might be tempted to dare him even more to beat them over the top. Defenses in the postseason have yet to fully lean into this strategy, but it worked in Game 2 and the Hawks really don’t have a great counter if Young can’t knock these shots down.

Zooming out even more, the Bucks now sit tied for the second best net rating in the playoffs at positive 7.1 – the same as the Suns – with Atlanta below water at negative 1.4. This isn’t everything (see: Philly, which still tops this list at positive 8.1, thanks in large part to their evisceration of the Wizards), but still, it’s a reminder that Milwaukee had the statistical profile of a contender all season long, and they reminded us why here.

Atlanta only lose two home games over the course of the last two and a half months of the season, but they’ve since lost two in this postseason alone. The Bucks appeared to have figured something out here, and most importantly, they still have another level to reach. Milwaukee did what they did despite hitting a pedestrian (for them) 36 percent of their long balls. 

If they knock those looks down at 40 percent or more, Game 3 could be just as ugly.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks -5 @ -110

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Article Author


Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.


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