The NBA Eastern Conference Finals will see the Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks will enjoy home advantage for two games, before going to State Farm Arena in Atlanta for at least two more.
Neither team has reached the finals in a long time, and the winner of this series will take on either the Phoenix Suns or the LA Clippers in the 2021 NBA Finals.
Series begins 23rd June, 8:30pm USA Eastern time.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks Series Winner Odds
|Bucks vs Hawks Series Odds||Odds||Probability|
|Bucks Win Series||1.20||83.3%|
|Hawks Win Series||4.75||21.1%|
Odds from bet365 15:30 PM June 22nd, 2021. Odds may now differ.
Milwaukee Bucks Stats & Analysis
The Bucks enjoyed another solid season and finished third in the Eastern Conference. They finished the season with 46 wins and in solid form.
The Bucks were one of the most dynamic offensive teams in the league and were first in the NBA in points scored, and second in pace.
Their rebounding and interior defense were also excellent, and the only are they struggled to defend was beyond the three-point line.
The Bucks faced the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs and easily pulled off the sweep. Only the first game of that series was competitive, and the other three were blowout victories. The Bucks’ defense prevented Miami from going on scoring runs and ever making their games interesting.
Much was expected in the rest of the series with the return of Jimmy Butler to the lineup, but the Bucks were even more dominant.
Their series against the Nets in the semi-finals was a sight to behold, with the Bucks losing their first two games and coming back to win the series in seven. With the absence of Kyrie Irving and the bad form of James Harden, the Bucks managed to outscore and out-defend Brooklyn in the series, and earn a spot in the Conference Finals.
Giannis, Middleton, Holiday, and Lopez performed very well in the series and deserve much of the credit for the team’s comeback. Giannis had 40 points and 5 assists in game seven, with Middleton adding 23 points and 6 assists.
Atlanta Hawks Stats & Analysis
The Atlanta Hawks finished the regular season with the fifth seed in the east, 41 wins, and on a four-game winning streak. They made the playoffs after a three-year wait and an overhaul of their roster. This time, it’s Young, Bogdanovic, and Huerter who are leading the charge, with Nate McMillan responsible for the Xs and Os.
The Hawks found a nice balance of shooting, defense, and rebounding this season, giving them a lot of success against one-dimensional teams.
They were near the middle of the pack in nearly all categories, but it’s the little things that matter. For example, their free-throw percentage is much higher than the Bucks’. The Hawks shot 81.2% from the line, whilst the Bucks shot 76.0%. This is an important detail, and in a playoff series, it can be the difference-maker.
The Hawks are also a much slower team and finished 23rd in the NBA in terms of pace. Slowing down the game in key situations is something Trae Young has gotten better at, and it will be a key tool in preventing the Bucks from going on big scoring runs.
The Hawks faced the New York Knicks in the first round and easily dispatched them in five games. They managed to put enough pressure on the Knicks on the defensive end, to where the Knicks were forced into contested mid-range shots.
The Hawks faced Philadelphia in the conference semifinals and were able to defeat them in seven games, after a very competitive series. Their biggest problem in this series was guarding Embiid. Capela struggled to match the physicality of Joel Embid, but they were able to make up for it with excellent offensive schemes.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks Recent Meetings
|Date||Home vs Away||Line||LINE RESULT||O/U LINE||OU RESULT|
|April 25, 2021||ATL 111 defeated MIL 104||MILW -5.5||ATL COVER +5.5||229.0||UNDER|
|April 15, 2021||ATL 109 lost to MIL 120||MILW -4||MILW COVER -4||236.0||UNDER|
|January 24, 2021||MIL 129 defeated ATL 115||MILW -12||MILW COVER -12||225.0||OVER|
The Bucks and Hawks met three times during the regular season, and the Bucks had the upper hand in the series. They beat Atlanta in their first two games, with a total point differential of 25.
Their first game was a 129:115 win for Milwaukee, with Giannis leading the way with 27 points, 8 assists, and 14 rebounds. Bobby Portis also contributed with 21 points and six rebounds. The Hawks were without Young and Bogdanovic in this one, so Hunter and Collins were their leading scorers with 33 and 30 respectively.
More of the same in the second meeting, as Holiday led the Bucks to a 120:109 win with 23 points and 7 assists, despite Giannis scoring just 15. Both teams had balanced scoring efforts, but Atlanta were unable to make up for their weak second-quarter performance. Bogdanovic was their leading scorer with 28 points.
Their final game was a 111:104 victory for the Hawks despite the absence of Trae Young in the lineup. Bogdanovic again led the way with 32 points, followed by Huerter with 20 and Collins with 18. For the Bucks, Giannis and Middleton scored 31 and 23 points respectively, but Jrue Holiday’s performance was just as impressive with 19 points, 11 assists, and 5 rebounds.
The line for Game 1 in Milwaukee is Milwaukee -7 points with the Over Under set at 226.5 points.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks Series Best Bets
The bookmakers see Milwaukee as the favorites to win the series at 1.20 odds. The Hawks are given 4.75 odds and for good reason.
Milwaukee will be playing their first two games at home, and have a chance to make a solid lead. The Hawks will have to surprise them and steal one game away if they want to stay in the series.
Here is how the bookmakers see it:
|Bucks vs HAWKS SERIES CORRECT SCORE ODDs||Bucks WIN SERIES||Hawks WIN SERIEs|
Odds from bet365 15:30 PM June 22nd, 2021. Odds may now differ.
Yes, the Hawks defeated the Sixers, and yes, Trae Young played out of his mind in that series. That said, the Hawks found a lot of success in simple pick actions, and Philly was always a step behind.
Embiid’s injury was certainly a part of the problem, and he would move less as the games went on. He usually settled for jumpers in the second half and was unable to make rotations to cover the paint, like he does when he is healthy.
Milwaukee have a healthy roster. They enjoyed some extra rest, and they don’t have such defensive issues. They have two reliable scoring threats, whilst the Hawks have one consistent scorer in Trae Young.
The Bucks have a more dynamic roster and will be able to win four games against the Hawks. Atlanta will surely have one game where they shoot the lights out, but that’s about it.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks Best Bet:
Milwaukee to win series 4-1, at 3.10 odds with bet365.