The Eastern conference game 3 matchup between the Hawks and Bucks is an interesting matchup, to say the least. The Bucks ran the Hawks out of the building in game two to even up the series after Trae Young led the Hawks to an improbable game one win. Can the Hawks hold serve in the next two games that will be played in Atlanta? Let’s take a look at the keys and factors headed into game 3 of this series.
The Bucks must keep the Hawks out of the paint with their more aggressive drop-scheme defense, as they did in game 2.
The Bucks were much more aggressive defensively in the Game 2 win as they limited space for Young on his drives to the basket. Instead of having Brook Lopez take a deep drop, he met Young closer to the level of the screen on his drops while limiting his ability to get into the paint. Other Milwaukee help-defenders stunted in from their men while collapsing potential driving lanes for Young. The Bucks also switched 1-4 defensively to keep Young from turning the corner in pick-and-rolls. This scheme is what won the Bucks the game as they held Young to just 15 points and more importantly forced Young to commit 9 turnovers. Those turnovers were huge because they led to Bucks fast-breaks and easy points. Milwaukee out-scored Atlanta 27-12 on fast-break points.
In-game one Young went off against a more passive Bucks defense, in-game 2 though the Bucks were aggressive and Young was stopped. You have to assume from here on out we will see an aggressive Bucks defense, so how can the Hawks counteract that? Simple answer Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter, Huerter was lights out in the Hawks series win over the 76ers and he has to shoot the ball well, Bogdanovic on the other hand, has not been the same since he was injured in the Hawks game 6 win over the Sixers. The Bucks are too good to be beaten by just one player and without a lot of help, the Hawks will be done quickly in this series.
The Bucks are just the better team and with Bogdanovich, not at 100 percent, I don’t see the Hawks winning this game. The Bucks are favored by 4 points and I say jump all over that! This will be the last time in this series you will get that kind of value on the Bucks as the point-spreads during this series will steadily increase. Bucks 114 Hawks 101
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