The 2021 Eastern Conference Finals continue on Friday evening with Game 2 between the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hawks upset the Bucks in Game 1 on Wednesday, riding a 48-point explosion from Trae Young to a close-fought victory. With that in mind, Milwaukee faces significant urgency in the matchup as they look to avoid a dire 0-2 hole.
The Bucks maintain the No. 1 defensive rating in the postseason, allowing only 103.8 points per 100 possessions. However, Milwaukee had all kinds of trouble containing Young in the opener. By the fourth quarter, the Bucks were deploying a switching scheme that is out of their comfort zone but, while it did slow Young, it opened up other opportunities for Atlanta. Offensively, the Bucks received big games from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday, but Khris Middleton struggled mightily in a 6-of-23 shooting game that featured 0-of-9 from beyond the three-point arc. As a team, Milwaukee shot just 8-of-36 from deep, potentially providing optimism given that they were a top-five three-point shooting team during the regular season.
For Atlanta, a lot went right in Game 1, particularly with Young’s dominance and a 42.3 percent offensive rebound rate in the second half. At the same time, the Hawks also shot just 8-of-32 from three-point range while receiving very little from supporting pieces like Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari. Atlanta will need to shore up their defense, particularly near the rim where the Bucks scored 70 points in the paint in Game 1, but the Hawks can take solace in their structure against Milwaukee. Beyond that, Young shows no signs of slowing down and he captains an offense that is capable of high-end efficiency if the Bucks fail to adjust.
From a betting standpoint, Game 1 went Over the total of 225 points and Atlanta covered the closing point spread of 8 points as an underdog with the outright win.
Game 2 TV Info
Tip Time: Friday, June 25; 8:30 p.m. ET
TV Network: TNT
Game 2 Betting Lines (via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Series Prices: Bucks (-210), Hawks (+170)
Spread: Bucks -7.5 (-110), Hawks +7.5 (-110)
Total: Over 225.5 (-113), Under 225.5 (-108)
Money Line: Bucks (-345), Hawks (+280)