The Atlanta Hawks vs Milwaukee Bucks series took an interesting turn on Tuesday. The Hawks scored a comfortable 110-88 win without Trae Young, but that wasn’t the biggest news.
Giannis Antetokounmpo left the game with a hyperextended knee, so his availability for Game 5 is uncertain, but it doesn’t look good for the former MVP.
Early online betting markets have the Bucks as home favorites, but expect the line to move dramatically if The Greek Freak is officially ruled out.
Giannis Suffers Injury
The series has been flipped on its head with an injury to superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. With a chance to take a 3-1 series lead, Milwaukee failed to take its chances and matters were made worse when Antetokounmpo went down.
He contested a shot and came down with a hyperextended knee, which is rarely easy to recover from. He would later return to the bench, but with the game already in the hands of the Hawks, he didn’t return to court.
We’re confident he wouldn’t have returned even if it was a close game. The knee isn’t meant to be bent that way, but questions are now being asked about his availability on Thursday.
“We’ll see how he is tomorrow,” coach Mike Budenholzer told ESPN. “We’ll take everything as it comes. We’ll evaluate it. We’ve got a heck of a team, a heck of a roster.”
Giannis has been ruled out for the remainder of Game 4 vs. the Hawks with a left knee hyper-extension, per the Bucks. pic.twitter.com/xcxnEarsym
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 30, 2021
The Bucks rely heavily on their All-Star player, who was having a solid night before the injury. He was 7-10 from the field for 14 points. He had the Atlanta crowd laughing at a pair of free throw air balls, but the crowd was eventually silenced when he went down.
We don’t think Khris Middleton has shown enough consistency to lead the Bucks without him. After producing a big effort in Game 3, Middleton had 16 points on 6-17 shooting. He went 0-7 from the three, so it was another perplexing effort from the small forward.
“We’ve got to be better on both ends,” Budenholzer continued. “Our group will gather. The character will come through.”
Hawks Win Without Young
NBA betting odds moved considerably with the news Trae Young was out of the game. He was a scratch just 45 minutes before tip-off, which saw the betting line spike a couple of points to 9½.
However, no one told the Hawks that they’re a one-man squad. They played excellent team basketball, which was led by Lou Williams with 21 points. He filled in the space left by Young and he went 7-9 from the field.
He was helped by 20 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic, who put up 19 shots, but he made six three-pointers, which was a nice addition to the scoring column. If Bogdanovic can knock down over five three pointers, the Hawks will be tough to stop.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 30, 2021
Clint Capela and Kevin Huerter had 15 points each, so it was a real team effort for the Hawks, who could still be without Young.
“I knew about an hour before this game that I was going to start, when they said Trae was out, so I just had to refocus my energy, put on a different hat and get ready for the game,” Lou Williams said.
“Everybody played with confidence. Everybody played at a high level. Going back to Milwaukee, we’re going to have to bottle it up and take it with us.”
Teams often play well when they haven’t had much time to adjust to an injury. Because Young was such a late non-starter, it didn’t give the Hawks time to think about the loss. It won’t be the same for Game 5, but he still has a chance to play.
Despite the prognosis being a bone bruise, with everything on the line he could suit up and attempt to play through the injury.
Hawks vs Bucks Betting Trends
The Hawks are 3-5 against the spread in the last eight meetings and 13-4 ATS in the last 17 meetings in Milwaukee.
It’s an overwhelming statistic and it bodes well given two of the last three games (if needed) are played in Milwaukee.
Atlanta is also 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games and 16-7 in the last 23 games playing on one day’s rest.
Milwaukee is 4-1 ATS playing on one days’ rest, but there is a concerning statistic. The Bucks are 0-8 ATS in their last eight home games vs a team with a losing road record.
Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
Hawks vs Bucks Pick
There are a lot of unknowns about this game, but we’re picking the Atlanta Hawks to cause consecutive upsets.
Value is with the road team and we have big concerns about Antetokounmpo’s availability, which would see the line for the Hawks firm if he’s ruled out.
Markets have already hedged in that direction. The current moneyline is +135, down from its open of +150. There’s still value there which might not be available if and when Antetokounmpo’s status becomes official.