The Milwaukee Bucks hold a 3-2 series lead over the Atlanta Hawks. It’s do-or-die time for the Hawks, as they’ll need to string together two wins in a row to advance to the NBA Finals. They had an opportunity in Game 5 with Giannis Antetokounmpo on the sideline, but they couldn’t outplay the Bucks in Milwaukee.
Now with the series heading back to Atlanta, the Hawks have a chance to tie up the series in Game 6. They’ll need to make some adjustments to do so, but this game should be close. There is a real chance Trae Young comes back to the lineup, which could give them an advantage. If that’s the case, the Bucks will have to be at their best if they hope to close the series.
Game 6 should come down the wire with both teams giving it their all. However, if Antetokounmpo is out again, the Bucks will need their team to step up as they did in Game 5. Everything is on the line for this matchup. With that said, here are three bold predictions for Game 6 between the Bucks and Hawks.
Trae Young plays Game 6
Young hasn’t played the last two games and his team missed him dearly in Game 5. He’s easily the best player on the Hawks, as he’s been consistent throughout the postseason. He’s had plenty of time to rest his foot and with Atlanta’s playoff hopes on the line, the team should consider getting their superstar point guard back into the rotation.
Young opens up the offense for Atlanta, which is what they’ll need if they hope to tie the series. The Hawks played decent without him in Game 5, but they were behind throughout the entire matchup. Young elevates this Hawks team to a new level, and with Giannis potentially out, this could be Atlanta’s time to strike.
Brook Lopez repeats for another big performance
Antetokounmpo’s injury may sideline him for another game. If that’s the case, the Bucks will look for Brook Lopez to repeat his Game 5 performance. Lopez racked up 33 points and seven rebounds, absolutely dominating the paint. Clint Capela struggled defensively, as even Bobby Portis ended the night with 22 points.
BROOK LOPEZ was unstoppable in GM5
33 PTS (Playoff Career-High)
* He attempted a total of 20 FG over his last 3 games. pic.twitter.com/fDS8Mb5ru0
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) July 2, 2021
The paint is where this team thrives. If Lopez can provide that consistency again, it’ll create better opportunities for Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday to score from the perimeter. A balanced attack is what the Bucks will need to defeat the Hawks and move onto the NBA Finals.
The Bucks close out the series
At the end of the day, the Bucks prove too much to handle for the Hawks. Even if Trae Young comes back to the lineup, Milwaukee still matches up well against them. Khris Middleton has proven to be a consistent scorer for the Bucks, and the rest of the roster stepped up when needed.
Even though Game 6 is in Atlanta, closing out the series in Game 6 is the best-case scenario for Milwaukee. With the Phoenix Suns resting and preparing for the NBA Finals, the Bucks have to win this game to give themselves a better chance. With or without Giannis, look for the Bucks to be at their best on Saturday night.