The Atlanta Hawks followed up their impressive 116-113 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals with a clunker in Game 2. They were outscored 77-45 over the first half of the contest, and they were unable to make any inroads over the final 24 minutes as they went on to lose the game, 125-91. Hawks star guard Trae Young had a less-than-stellar showing in Game 2, especially on the heels of his epic 48 point, 11 assist performance in Game 1. In the second game of the series, Young finished with just 15 points and three assists, and he shot just 6-of-16 from the floor. He also had nine turnovers, many of which resulted in easy transition opportunities for Milwaukee.
Now, the series shifts to Atlanta where both teams will look to gain an advantage. Game 3 will be especially intriguing, as teams that take a 2-1 lead in a best-of-seven series after a 1-1 tie go on to win the series over 70 percent of the time. With that said, here's everything you need to know about Game 3 between the Bucks and Hawks.
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(3) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks
- Date: Sunday, June 27 | Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Location: State Farm Arena -- Atlanta, Georgia
- TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT
- Odds: MIL -175; ATL +155 | O/U: 224 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Bucks: After Young lit them up in Game 1, the Bucks adjusted their defense in Game 2, especially when it came to defending Young out of pick-and-roll action, and the adjustments proved extremely effective. Young's scoring, passing, and effectiveness were all limited in a major way in Game 2, and with Young contained, the Bucks were able to roll, as Atlanta doesn't really have any other secondary playmakers. The way they defended in Game 2 should be a blueprint for the Bucks moving forward for the rest of the series, because if they are able to continue to limit Young's impact, they should have a great chance of advancing.
Hawks: The Hawks have to get better contributions from the guys around Young in Game 3. Three of their five starters -- Huerter, Capela and Bogdanovic -- scored in single digits last game, and that's just not going to get the job done. That trio combined for 18 total points, while four of Milwaukee's five starters scored at least 15 points. If there was any bright spot for Atlanta in Game 2, it was the play of Cam Reddish, who made his playoff debut and scored 11 points in 17 minutes of action. Perhaps he'll be able to provide a boost off of the bench for Atlanta as the series continues.
Trae Young exploded for 48 points in Game 1, and the Bucks still only lost by three points. In Game 2, they were able to limit him in a major way, and that resulted in an easy win. Young will likely be better in the third game than he was in the second, but the Hawks just aren't as deep as Milwaukee. As long as the Bucks can follow the blueprint that they laid out in Game 2, and keep Young somewhat in check, the Bucks should be able to pull out a win. Pick: Bucks -4