Win or go home. It is as simple as that for the Atlanta Hawks in tonight’s Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals. Our NBA Picks have analysed every aspect of the game to let you know if the Milwaukee Bucks will eliminate the Hawks and advance to the NBA Finals or if Atlanta can extend the series to Game Seven.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to miss this clash but there is still some hope that Trae Young can get back on the floor to help get his Hawks over the line. Who will come out on top? Read on below to find out who we have selected in tonight’s NBA picks!
Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks (Game 6) – 8:30pm EDT
What a difference 48 hours and a change of scenery can make! Two nights after getting blown out of the water and losing their star, the Milwaukee Bucks returned home and dominated the Atlanta Hawks from pillar to post. With Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined with a hyperextended knee he suffered in Game 4, Thursday was a must-win for Milwaukee and they delivered.
After no player managed to reach 20 points in their massive loss on Tuesday, the Bucks had four reach that mark in Game 5, led by Brook Lopez. A perfect 5-5 start in the first quarter saw the 7’ center put up 12 early points, finishing with a game high, season high and playoff career high 33 points, dominating the interior with 14-18 shooting, seven rebounds and four blocks.
33 PTS – 7 REB – 4 BLK – 14/18 FG
22 PTS – 8 REB – 3 AST – 3 STL
25 PTS – 6 REB – 13 AST – 45% FG
26 PTS – 13 REB – 8 AST – 50% FG
Milwaukee is one win away from the NBA Finals 🔥 pic.twitter.com/57pU7ZYfRB
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 2, 2021
He had plenty of help in this one with Khris Middleton putting up 26 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and two steals and Jrue Holiday dropping a monster double double with 25 points and 13 assists, with six coming in the decisive first quarter that Milwaukee won 36-22. The biggest surprise packet was Bobby Portis. After being the energy spark off the bench, Portis was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Giannis and he delivered big time.
Three offensive boards and three steals highlight the effort and hustle that Portis played with. But it wasn’t just the hustle, in his playoff career high 36 minutes, but Portis scored the ball efficiently, putting up 22 points, whilst also guarding John Collins on the other end.
Collins may have ended up with 19 points but was ineffective in the first half and bailed out by some late clock threes that went in. Danilo Gallinari put in 19 off the bench while Lou Williams had 17 points but just five assists, compared to a massive six turnovers. The Hawks had 14 as a team, six more than Milwaukee and while their lack of energy in the first quarter ruined them, coughing the ball up didn’t help either.
The only reason that Atlanta stayed remotely close was Bogdan Bogdanovic. After finding his three point stroke in Game 4, Bogi poured in another seven from behind the arc on Thursday, finishing with a team high and playoff career high 28 points. With the uncertainty surrounding Trae Young’s return, Bogdanovic will have to be massive for Atlanta, if they are to have any chance of turning things around and winning the next two games.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) July 1, 2021
Both Young and Antetokounmpo are just questionable and doubtful respectively for this clash, but both teams have now proven that they can win without their respective superstars. When looking for an edge for either side in this one, admittedly, the Hawks and Bucks have struggled on the road this season, giving the edge to Atlanta for Game 6.
We expect Young, with Atlanta’s backs against the wall in an elimination Game 6 on their home floor, to at least attempt to get out on the floor and that should give the Hawks a lift. They relish playing in front of their fans, getting an extra boost from the electric Atlanta atmosphere and that should be enough to will them over the line against an inconsistent and untrustworthy Milwaukee side.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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