After reaching the Eastern Conference finals in a dramatic seven-game series with the Brooklyn Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks have now made their second conference finals in three years. A re-tooled Bucks team and a rejuvenated Giannis Antetokounmpo will face the electrifying and wildly unpredictable Atlanta Hawks, with an NBA Finals appearance on the line.

A year removed from their semi-finals collapse, this Bucks team has come a long way and seen Giannis grown a lot since last season. Not to mention Khris Middleton has elevated his game immensely. Under the veteran leadership of Jrue Holiday and PJ Tucker, the Bucks have climbed over the biggest hurdle the eastern conference had to offer, and with the Nets now out of the picture, they are tasked with denying this young Hawks team of a finals appearance. So without further interruption let’s take a look at the three reasons the Bucks will beat the Hawks to reach the NBA Finals.

Bucks advantages:

Elite Defense And Rebounding 

A major factor behind the Bucks’ series win over the Nets was their dominance on the glass and their stellar defensive efforts. Between the size and length of Giannis, Lopez, and Middleton, the Hawks will have all kinds of shooting woes and mismatches to overcome. The Bucks elite rim protection is what propelled into the East finals.

It’ll be hard to imagine Trae Young, John Collins, and Clint Capela having wide open lanes and easy finishes at the rim with with the Bucks frontcourt intact and ready for whatever challenges come their way. Having boasted a top five defense for the last three seasons, the Milwaukee Bucks will definitely showcase their grit and aggression when it comes to offensive and defensive rebounding, blocking shots, and playing zone defense.

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Depth and Reliability on Offense 

A huge breakthrough for the Bucks during this postseason has been having reliable scoring threats outside of Giannis. Between Holiday, Forbes, Middleton, Tucker, and Portis, Milwaukee has taken a ton of pressure off of making Giannis their go-to scorer on every possession. This is something that has been easily exposed in their previous playoff runs, but with all-star caliber play in their backcourt and a stellar supporting cast chipping in, the Bucks have really opened things up for Giannis allowing him to thrive in this year’s playoffs.

The Atlanta Hawks are sorely mistaken if they think this will be a cake walk. By no means are these Bucks going to falter as their previous opponent did, and with a plethora of scoring options in their starting line up and their second unit, this battle-tested squad has plenty of depth to match the Hawks scorching hot offense.

Playoff Experience 

In last year’s playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks learned all about facing hardship and came into this year’s playoffs with a new mindset and a different outlook. At this point it’s safe to say that this strategy has paid dividends and made the Bucks a force to be reckoned with and possibly the team to beat in the east.

Having overcome adversity and ready for whatever comes their way next, the Bucks aren’t going down without a fight, and in a seven game series with the Hawks, they most certainly won’t be going quietly. They always say experience outweighs skill, and in this scenario the Bucks definitely have the experience and skill to give them an upper hand against the Hawks.