Now that the Phoenix Suns have advanced to the 2020-21 NBA Finals, the basketball world’s attention is being refocused towards the Eastern Conference Finals. The Milwaukee Bucks will play host to the Atlanta Suns for Game 5 of their series on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST. With the series being tied 2-2-, which team will be within a game of the final round after tonight?
Continue reading for analysis and BetOnline’s odds on tonight’s NBA action.
NBA Odds: Atlanta Hawks (No. 5) vs Milwaukee Bucks (No. 3) Game 5
Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, July 1
- Series: Series tied 2-2
- Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
- Moneyline: Hawks (+107) vs Bucks (-127)
- Point Spread: Hawks: +2.0 (-112), Bucks: -2.0 (-108)
- Total: 215.5 — Over (-110), Under (-110)
Hawks Dealing With Injuries
While the Hawks tied up the series following a 110-88 Game 4 win, Game 5 is going to be even tougher to win. For starters, both Trae Young (foot) and Clint Capela (eye) are questionable for tonight’s NBA matchup. Even though the Hawks proved that they can win without Young last game, playing without him or their No. 1 center isn’t going to make life easier. If the duo is out of Game 5, Atlanta needs another solid performance from guys like Lou Williams and Bogdan Bogdanović. The two veterans led the Hawks with 21 and 20 points respectively on Tuesday, so it’ll be crucial for them to do it again tonight.
One player that the Hawks need to step up if they want to make the NBA Finals is John Collins. He’s supposed to be Atlanta’s second-best player after Young, but he’s only been averaging 9.3 PPG over his last three contests. It’s not like he’s even been shooting poorly — it’s that he isn’t shooting often. He’s averaging only 8.3 field goal attempts over his last three games, however, he’s connecting on 52.0% of them. Needless to say, Collins taking more shots would likely benefit the Hawks and take them one step closer to a possible NBA Championship.
Bucks Banged Up
When Giannis Antetokounmpo went down with a knee injury in Game 4, fans feared for the absolute worse. The good news is that he didn't suffer an ACL tear and won’t need surgery. The bad news is that he’s doubtful for Game 5, meaning the Bucks may have to win without him. The worse news: Milwaukee performed poorly with him in the lineup last game, so something has to change if they want to win tonight. If Antetokounmpo misses tonight’s game, Khris Middleton will need to be the No. 1 scoring option. After a dominant 38-point performance in Game 3, he regressed to 16 points last game while shooting 0-for-7 from the 3-point line. That just won’t cut it in Game 5.
At the end of the day, the entire Bucks roster needs to shoot better from beyond the arc. It might not be the focus of their game, but shooting 20.5% from the 3-point line as they did in Game 4 won’t bring them success in the NBA Playoffs. The Bucks were also outrebounded by the Hawks and had more turnovers as well. It was just a forgettable performance that needs to put behind them. After all, if Young and Capela are out, Milwaukee needs to take advantage of that. If they don’t close out the series now, who knows when they’ll get the chance to.