The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks face off in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight and our free NBA picks have everything you need before placing your bets!
With Trae Young hampered by injury, will the Atlanta Hawks have enough to level the series? Or are the Bucks too much of a force and go on to win their third straight in the series?
We have all of the answers for you below in our NBA picks for tonight’s big clash!
Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks (Game 4) – 8:30pm EDT
After losing Game One on their home floor, the Milwaukee Bucks have regained control of the Eastern Conference Finals, winning two straight. Sunday’s margin, 113-102, wasn’t quite as convincing as their dominating performance last Friday, but to win in Atlanta and regain home court advantage is quite a big step for the Bucks.
Another massive factor heading into tonight’s Game Four is the health of Trae Young. After turning his ankle after stepping on an official’s foot, Young missed a sizable chunk of action before returning to the floor, albeit clearly bothered. Scans revealed a bone bruise in his foot, giving him the questionable tag for this clash.
Trae Young has a bone bruise in his right foot, an MRI revealed.
He will be listed as questionable for tomorrow’s Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 vs. the Bucks. pic.twitter.com/FGYcKtf3yA
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2021
Throughout the entire playoffs, Atlanta has been 14 points worse when Young is on the floor, lacking a consistent second scoring option that can provide in his absence. Sunday’s 11 point loss saw no other starter score more than 13 points, with Young putting up 35 points on 12-23 (52.5%) shooting in his 39 minutes. Danilo Gallinari came off the bench to be the second highest scorer, shooting 7-14 for his 18 points.
John Collins managed 13 points but was limited to just 23 minutes of action, dealing with foul trouble throughout the game. His inability to stay on the floor hampered the Hawks’ offense while also removing the primary defender of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who got whatever look he wanted offensively. It also let Milwaukee get back into the game after Atlanta’s blistering start.
The first quarter saw the Hawks make six shots from deep, compared to none from Milwaukee and allowed Atlanta to lead by as many as 15. However, the Bucks went on a 15-4 run near the end of the period and erased all of Atlanta’s hard work, only trailing by five at the first break. From there, it was a tight contest until Young suffered his injury and Khris Middleton got hot.
In the fourth period Middleton scored 20 points, outscoring Atlanta by himself after the Hawks managed just 17. His incredible shooting effort saw Milwaukee win the quarter 30-17, securing the come from behind win to silence the Hawks and the Atlanta crowd. Middleton finished the game with an equal career-high 38 points, adding 11 boards, seven assists and five made threes for the game.
Antetokounmpo shot 13-21 (61.9%) from the field to finish with 33 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals for the game, with the offensive output of himself and Middleton helping cover up for Jrue Holiday’s poor shooting night. After scoring a combined 55 points in the first two games, Holiday managed just six points on 2-11 shooting, but made up for it with a game high 12 assists, along with two steals and two blocks.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 28, 2021
Holiday’s persistent hounding of Young has been massive so far, and that will only benefit more if Young isn’t at 100%. With Bogdan Bogdanovic on a six game streak of failing to score in double figures, the Hawks are extremely limited in their playmaking and scoring options. The experienced Lou Williams figured to get more of a run and opportunity but managed just five points on 1-3 shooting in his 18 minutes on Sunday.
Ultimately, if Young is out then the Hawks have no chance. Even if he plays and isn’t 100%, the Bucks have proven over the last two games that they are too good right now. You expect Atlanta to fight, much like they did in the Philadelphia series, which has panned out exactly like this one through the first two games, but Milwaukee are more determined to win and should head home with a 3-1 advantage.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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