- The Milwaukee Bucks dominated Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
- Brook Lopez performed admirably, scoring 33 points.
- The Bucks are underdogs going to Atlanta for Game 6.
ATLANTA - The Milwaukee Bucks rallied behind Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis all putting up legitimately good performances in Game 5.
With both Trae Young and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the bench, the game became an exercise in which team’s supporting cast could best execute against the other.
No Giannis, no problem.
— 26 PTS
— 13 REB
— 8 AST
— 25 PTS
— 6 REB
— 13 AST
— 33 PTS
— 7 REB
— 4 BLK pic.twitter.com/98N8swcwv2
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 2, 2021
Brook Lopez was a highlight for the Bucks, drawing a lot of attention for the way he was used in the paint. Lopez put in a lot of work as a big man, where normally he is out on the perimeter as a space generator in lineups when Antetokounmpo is playing.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer received some criticism for only now unleashing this version of Lopez, but frankly, the decision makes sense.
If Giannis is on the floor, Lopez has to space out, or the paint becomes unbearably clogged up, with both Giannis and Lopez’s defenders in the paint. This would then create problems for Middleton and Holiday, as there would be a lot of traffic in the way.
With Giannis on the bench, the Bucks are free to rely on Lopez’s versatility, and play a 4-out style that allows for their perimeter players to drive to the rim without added traffic. It’s a testament to Lopez’s versatility that he can excel in both roles, and “Splash Mountain” could be the difference in this series.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks Moneyline Odds
- Milwaukee Bucks -105
- Atlanta Hawks -125
The Bucks are mild underdogs in the matchup in Game 6 on the online sportsbooks, despite a fairly dominating performance in Game 5.
It’s unclear if Trae Young or Giannis Antetokounmpo will be playing, although the odds seem to reflect the idea that neither will be on the court.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks Spread Odds
- Milwaukee Bucks +1.5 (-110)
- Atlanta Hawks -1.5 (-110)
The Bucks were -2.0 at home with neither of them expected to play, and the Hawks are -1.5 at home in this game.
This is consistent with the teams remaining as they were in Game 5 - without Antetokounmpo and Young in the lineup. It’s worth noting that the Hawks opened as -1.0 favorites in this game, and further line movements could be in order as more news breaks of the status of the stars on both teams.
Online gambling fans can wager on this matchup using the online sportsbooks, and the game will be broadcast on TNT, starting at 8:30 p.m. EST on Saturday.