Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction: Game 6 Picks
Will the Bucks be going to their first NBA Finals in nearly half a century? Or will the Hawks keep their dream alive of making the championship round for the first time since they’ve been in Atlanta? As usual in these playoffs, injuries will be the deciding factor.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction
Where: Atlanta, GA
Date: July 3
Time: 8.30pm ET
Odds: Bucks +122, Hawks -130 - View full odds here
Watching Game 5 of Bucks Hawks, it was the latest, greatest reminder that this series should probably not have even gotten this far.
Yes, the Hawks were missing their best player and offensive engine, someone who is arguably more important to his team than Giannis Antetokounmpo is to Milwaukee.
But with or without Trae Young, the fact remains that these Bucks can exert their size and physicality on the Hawks whenever and wherever they choose. They did exactly that in Game 5 and won handily despite Bobby Portis playing the role of Giannis. Brook Lopez beasted like it was 2012, Khris Middleton played almost the entire game and nearly had a triple double, and Jrue Holiday reminded everyone why Milwaukee gave up so much to get him in the first place.
And through it all, the Hawks were helpless. Clint Capela and John Collins were exposed defensively and Atlanta was wiped away despite the fact that they had a relatively solid shooting night, especially from behind the arc, where they shot 39 percent on 38 attempts.
Most distressing was the fact that the Bucks finally realized their best path to success was in the lane and at the rim. Milwaukee only took 29 3-pointers in this game and made just nine. That’s the same number of attempts they had in Game 3 as well, another relatively easy win. Game 4, in which they took 39 shots from long range, was where they lost their way.
As long as the Bucks remain committed to hurting the Hawks on the inside, there’s nothing that Atlanta can do.
Perhaps the peak version of Trae Young would help the Hawks outscore a potent Bucks offense, but that version is not coming out of the tunnel for this game. In addition to the sprained ankle, he also has a bone bruise. We learned before Game 5 that he was in too much pain to give it a go, and to expect that to magically disappear just 48 hours later seems fraught. If he plays, he won’t be himself.
The Hawks are at home and get the benefit of the doubt where this line is concerned, but this series has felt like Bucks in six all the way, even after a disappointing Game 1. With the Finals on the line, Giannis’ supporting cast will come through.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks +2.5 @ -109