Atlanta Hawks vs Milwaukee Bucks
Date and Time: Saturday, June 26,2021 6:00 AM IST
Venue: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Prediction: Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks completed a hat-trick of Game 1 wins on the road in the 2021 NBA playoffs when they beat the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday.
It was a closely contested match throughout, but the Hawks turned out to be the better team down the stretch, winning the tie 116-113.
Trae Young was magnificent for the Atlanta Hawks yet again, scoring a career-high 48 points, to go with 11 assists and seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo was the scoring leader for the Milwaukee Bucks with 34 points.
The youthful Atlanta Hawks continue to exceed expectations with each passing game in the 2021 NBA playoffs. They started on the road once again and were also touted as underdogs. But their ability to deliver under pressure has been second to none.
The Milwaukee Bucks started the game strongly but were once again held back by their inconsistent shooting. The likes of Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton, in particular, struggled to find their range on the night.
Both missed clutch threes towards the end of the game. Connaughton airballed an open shot with 23 seconds to go and a chance to give the Bucks a 2-point lead, while Middleton missed the game-tying buzzer on the last possession.
The Milwaukee Bucks did a good job with attacking the paint, scoring 70 points in that area as they struggled from beyond the arc yet again. They shot just eight of their three-point attempts.
It would be fair to say it was the Bucks’ game to lose, especially after their poor defensive performance in the second half and down the stretch.
The Milwaukee Bucks have done a remarkable job of bouncing back in the series against the Brooklyn Nets. And if that is anything to go by, one can expect them to do a better job in the next match against the Atlanta Hawks. Khris Middleton did not have the best of games on Wednesday, but it’s very unlikely he’ll have an underwhelming outing in Game 2 as well.
If he does get going, it will be tough for the Atlanta Hawks to match the Milwaukee Bucks’ offensive prowess, tilting the game in favor of the latter. Nonetheless, the Hawks’ grittiness is something that cannot be underestimated. So it won’t be an easy game for the Bucks, which they should be mindful of.