The Milwaukee Bucks are in the NBA Finals, following last night’s victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Mike Budenholzer’s unit beat the hosts 118-107, even though they appeared without Giannis Antotekounmpo.
The third quarter turned out to be the decisive moment for this event, as Bucks outscored the rivals 44-29 during that stretch. Khris Middleton was in charge here, scoring 23 points in this sequence and having a spree that saw him delivering 16 straight points, which would eradicate the Hawks’ chances to reach the big finals.
Even without Giannis onboard, the Bucks looked invincible solely because of Middleton, who was all over the floor when needed the most.
Jrue Holiday was excellent as well, with 27 points. But the veteran point guard didn’t just score, his impact was felt all over the place with nine boards and dimes each, all that in team-high 42 minutes.
The Bucks’ offense was once again versatile, with six double-digit scorers. Pat Connaughton and Brook Lopez had 13 points, Bobby Portis 12, and Jeff Teague 11.
As for the Hawks, they did have Trae Young included in the lineup, but the superstar playmaker couldn’t play at his usual level. It seems that the injury he picked up in Game 4, left a massive impact on him, which is why he had just 14 points, hitting only four of 17 shots from the field. Young missed all of his six three-pointers.
Cam Reddish had 21 points, 18 of them from downtown, while Bogdan Bogdanovic managed to rack up 20. Clint Capela scored 14, Danilo Gallinari 13, the same as John collins, who grabbed 11 boards also.
This was a great chance for Atlanta to reach the finals, but they simply couldn’t utilize it. Nate McMillan didn’t prepare his team for Milwaukee’s completely different concept of play without Giannis, and we need to add that the Hawks looked much better in defense with Giannis on the court.
Still, this is a major success for this young team, formed just a while ago. Atlanta showed massive potential, and they will for sure become a respectable force in the future.
The Bucks, meanwhile, are preparing for the clash with the Phoenix Suns. The biggest concern right now is Giannis’s left knee and how to recover the same.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is set for Tuesday night in Phoenix.