At what point does an anomaly become a regularity? With another win, this one coming in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, this run for the Hawks is no longer an abnormality. There are some who have believed in this Atlanta team for a while now, but that has not been me. Sure, I took the eight points last night, and I already took 7.5 for Game 2, but it has been from the mindset that the Hawks will be on the wrong end of very competitive games. That is not the case through the first game of this series.
Trae Young exploited Milwaukee’s drop coverage on pick-and-rolls, obliterating them for 48 points on 17-of-34 shooting. His floater made up most of the Hawks’ 23-of-43 shooting night the mid-range area of the floor, and there is not much room for improvement for the Bucks unless they adjust from their main defensive philosophy. We saw Mike Budenholzer roll out a lineup with Giannis Antetokounmpo at center, but while that was more effective defensively it did allow Atlanta to pound the offensive glass. Either way, Bud has some questions to answer about his defense, and his offense which managed just 1.13 points per possession.
Updated odds for every game can be found here.
Updated injury reports for every game can be found here.
Phoenix Suns (-1, 221.5) at Los Angeles Clippers
In an eerily similar fashion to the previous series the Clippers find themselves down 2-0 and back at home after two perfectly winnable games on the road. Los Angeles has had a very tough time containing Devin Booker and the Suns so far, allowing 120.4 points per 100 possessions through the first two games of this series. Their own offense, 116.0 points per 100 possessions, and 3-point shooting (40.7%) has made these contests competitive so far, but the defense needs to do its job. Something that has been hard with Ivica Zubac playing 26 minutes per game through the early part of this series.