It’s another day, which means more NBA playoff action. There’s only one game on the schedule for Friday as the Atlanta Hawks are looking to take a 2-0 advantage against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Hawks picked up the surprising 116-113 victory on Wednesday and are focused on continuing the momentum.
Here’s a look at the odds for tonight’s Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, courtesy of BetOnline.
NBA Odds: Atlanta Hawks (No. 5) vs Milwaukee Bucks (No. 3) Game 2
Odds via BetOnline as of Friday, June 25
- Series: ATL leads 1-0
- Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
- Moneyline: Hawks (+290) vs Bucks (-360)
- Point Spread: Hawks: 8.0 (-111), Bucks: -8.0 (-109)
- Total: 226.0 — Over (-105), Under (-115)
Hawks Still Playing As Underdogs
Despite winning Game 1 of the series, the Hawks will enter tonight’s game as the +290 underdogs. That just means that the team is going to have to work that much harder to continue proving doubters wrong. One way they can do that is if Trae Young continues playing as he has. The 22-year-old point guard has been one of the best players this NBA postseason. He proved that by dropping an absurd stat line of 48 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assists in Game 1. The Bucks just couldn’t find an answer for Young, who was shot 17-for-34 from the field.
That’s not even to mention how John Collins also had a big game, ending the night with a 23-point, 15-rebound double-double. Or how Clint Capela had 19 rebounds in the victory. Even though it was just a 3-point win, the Hawks did a lot of right things in Game 1.
However, that’s not to say everything was perfect. While he had several big performances in the earlier rounds, Bogdan Bogdanovic has been cold as of late. The 28-year-old Serbian shooting guard 5.3 points and a .265 field goal percentage. That’s just not going to cut it for a starting shooting guard. Yes, Young controls the offense, but the Hawks need everyone to contribute if they want to reach the NBA Finals.
Bucks Looking to Avoid Going Down 2-0 in NBA Eastern Conference Finals
Even though the Bucks lost Game 1 of the series, there are still a few things that they did right to open the series. For starters, Giannis Antetokounmpo nearly had a triple-double, ending the series-opening game with 34 PTS/12 REB/9 AST. Jrue Holiday also had a big game, dropping 33 points and 10 assists for the double-double. However, speaking of Holiday, he did have some issues guarding Young on Wednesday. The Hawks star was able to get too many open shots off, so Holiday — a three-time All-Defensive player — will need to play tighter defense in Game 2.
Another player who needs to have a better performance in Game 2 is Khris Middleton. He’s supposed to be Milwaukee’s No. 2 guy, but he finished Game 1 by shooting 6-for-23 from the field (.261), which includes going 0-for-9 from the 3-point line. He also had a -13 plus/minus rating on the night. Needless to say, the Bucks can’t jump back in this series unless Middleton puts himself back on track.
Another thing that the Bucks still have to work on is their 3-point shooting. While that isn’t how their team is built, you can’t expect to win NBA playoff games with a .222 3-point percentage (which is well below their postseason average of .304). The truth is that Milwaukee is lucky that Atlanta shot poorly from behind the arc as well in Game 1 (.250). Perhaps whichever team is better at making 3-pointers will go on to win the series. If the Bucks want it to be them, they have to show improvements starting tonight.