After what looked like an impossible task, the young and hungry Atlanta Hawks soared high despite losing their star point guard Trey Young heading into Game 4.
They punched Milwaukee in the mouth right from the start and did not let up. Veteran point guard, Lou Williams, who was recently considering retirement, led the way with an efficient scoring output in Young’s absence as he put up 21 points while shooting 7/9 from the field.
Bogdan Bogdanovic also found his stroke as he put 20 points while knocking in six triples.
To make matters worse for the Bucks, the entire series took a dramatic turn when their former MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo went down to what looked to be a serious knee injury. He went to the locker room and did not return as the Hawks ultimately ended up winning by a score of 110-88.
Thankfully, the MRI for the Greek Freak came out clean as there was no structural damage. Nonetheless, it did end up being a hyperextension which will force Giannis to miss tonight’s pivotal Game 5 with the series all tied up at two games a piece.
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Antetokounmpo’s timetable for return remains unclear which is worrisome for the Bucks. In his absence, guards Khris Middelton and Jrue Holiday struggled to get anything going. Middleton only scored 16 points in the game after putting up a 38 point outburst in Game 4.
Jrue Holiday on the other hand, scored 19 points but only went 6/17 from the field. With Giannis out, Middleton and Holiday will have to put on their best performances otherwise the Hawks may very well take full control of the series.
Atlanta has all the confidence in the world right now as they are coming off an impressive upset win without Trey Young. Speaking of Young, he is listed as questionable heading into Milwaukee for Game 5 which could give the Hawks even more of an upper hand if he is able to lace them up.
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I believe the Hawks have the Bucks right where they want them. Momentum and confidence are two things that can definitely propel young teams. Last game was a great example of how all the guys in the locker room believed in each other. Even if Trey cannot play tonight, they have already proved to themselves and all the critics out there that they can get the job done.
The Bucks on the other hand must take on that same galvanizing mentality that Atalanta had in Game 4 if they are going to take a 3-2 series lead tonight. Coach Mike Budenholzer will have to come up with a creative game plan, and like I mentioned before, their stars must show up. If not, I see it being a long night for Milwakuee in front of their home fans.
With Young possibly returning tonight, I see the Hawks taking Game 5 on the road. Every time the team is doubted they step on and accept the challenge. I see tonight being no exception. Giannis’s absence for the Bucks will be a huge blow for Milwaukee not only on the court, but mentally as well. I see that being too much for them to handle with all that is on the line.