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Preview: Hawks face must-win Game 6 vs. Bucks

NBA: Playoffs-Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks dropped Game 5 on the road to the Milwaukee Bucks, getting bullied around a bit in the process. The Bucks matched their Game 4 total of 44 points in the paint in the first half alone in Game 5. Without Trae Young, the Hawks struggled at times offensively, and the size edge for Milwaukee proved to be too much, even in the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The status of Young and Antetokounmpo obviously continues to impact this series, with neither team knowing if their star will play for them again this season. Young was ruled out after attempting to go through warmups in Game 4, while Antetokounmpo was ruled out earlier in the day. Young has not played since Game 3, and will have had five full days of treatment/recovery under his belt by the time Saturday night rolls around. Still, he seemed to be favoring the ankle/foot a fair amount when going through his workouts on Thursday, and while he’s assuredly doing everything in his power to get back on the floor, it may just be too soon.

Even if the Hawks do get Young back for Game 6, they will need to play with more physicality if they want to force a Game 7. Throughout this series, when Milwaukee has their minds set on attacking the basket, they have been able to do it with a high success rate. They shot 33-of-50 in the paint in Game 5, and are averaging nearly 60 points in the paint for the series, a figure that is even higher if you only count the games they have won. Brook Lopez scored 33 points on 14-of-18 shooting in Game 5, and if Antetokounmpo is unable to go again for Game 6, expect another big dose of Lopez until Atlanta shows any signs of slowing it down.

Offensively, the Hawks will hope for a repeat performance of Game 4 from Lou Williams and Kevin Huerter, who helped Bogdan Bogdanovic carry the offense in the absence of Young over the past two games. John Collins and Clint Capela will need to match the Bucks’ energy in the paint and get some second-chance looks of their own, especially with the transition threat of Antetokounmpo potentially out of the lineup.

Injury Reports

Young (right foot bone bruise) is again questionable and likely a game-time decision, while Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee soreness) is probable.

Brandon Goodwin (minor respiratory condition) and De’Andre Hunter (right meniscus surgery) remain out.

For Milwaukee, Antetokounmpo (hyperextended knee) in questionable for Game 6, while Donte DiVincenzo (ankle) is out for the season.

The Line

The Hawks open as 2.5-point favorites over the Bucks in Game 6 at home. If this figure holds, it would mark the first time the Hawks have been favored in a game since the series vs. the New York Knicks, and just the third time they’ve been favored in the playoffs overall.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Saturday, July 3, 8:30 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena


Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Watch TNT