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NBA Eastern Conference Finals — Milwaukee Bucks-Atlanta Hawks Game 2: Will the Triples Fall?

Milwaukee Bucks

Will Game Two Live up to the Hype?

By Charles Jay

Well, the Atlanta Hawks have now snatched the home court advantage away from the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, and unquestionably BetAnySports customers are starting to believe what we were trying to tell them before Game 1.

But now the question is, where do these Hawks go from here?

Let’s be honest – as sensational as Trae Young can be, you can’t expect him to go off for 48 points every night, and you can’t expect that with a 48.6% “Usage” rate, which means he was directly involved in half the team’s offensive plays, Atlanta is going to operate efficiently on a regular basis.

Surely the Bucks are going to make adjustments. And in the past they have demonstrated an ability to put the clamps on Young, which raises the possibility that they could send the Hawks looking for another outlet from which to get points.

Could that outlet be John Collins, who had 23 points and 15 rebounds in Game 1? Or Kevin Huerter, who exploded for 27 points in the Game 7 road win at Philadelphia?

NBA Eastern Conference Finals – Bogdanovic a no-show

We’ve got less and less faith that it’s going to be Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is playing through a knee injury and made just one field goal on Wednesday, on the heels of 28% shooting from long range in the series against the Sixers.

In a way, this is a moment of truth for both teams.

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And the NBA Eastern Conference Finals odds at BetAnySports are somewhat similar to what they were in Game 1:

Milwaukee Bucks  -7.5
Atlanta Hawks  +7.5

Over 226 points -110
Under 226 points -110

NBA Eastern Conference Finals – Holiday won’t be on ice

If the Bucks make the necessary adjustments and make life difficult for Young, it will likely be Jrue Holiday who is at the forefront of such a movement. After all, he’s made the league’s All-Defensive team three times. Things didn’t quite work out in Game 1, but remember that there is a flip side to this. Young is not a defensive stalwart, and from a size standpoint,  the only starter he can really guard is Holiday. That explains 33 points for Jrue on Wednesday. Holiday has averaged 28 points a game when playing against Young.

And by the way, we should mention that Game 1 was something of an outlier, in that Milwaukee has made a habit of keeping Young under wraps. He had seven career games against them going in, and he had an 18.9 ppg average on a less-than-pedestrian 36% shooting.

So that’s a potential problem the Hawks may have to solve. Did they do so “for good” in Game 1?

NBA Eastern Conference Finals – Our Conclusion

We would lean toward Milwaukee to some extent in Game 2. Yet we really don’t know if we like them enough to make a play. In almost every instance in which they look like they are going to be victimized by a matchup disadvanatge, the Hawks defy us.

We know that many of the factors we have pointed to would seem to point “under” this total. But you know, pace is often the overriding factor when it comes to a totals play. As far as the official “Pace” category is concerned, Milwaukee led the league, and they got an average of a little over 100 possession per 48 minutes in Game 1.

No one – and we mean NO ONE – puts up as many shots as the Bucks do. They ranked first in field goals attempted and made. Almost 200 shots were tried in Wednesday night’s encounter.

And in a game that ended with 229 points scored, look how horrible these teams were from the three-point arc. They combined for 23.5% (16 of 68). Ugh. You know, if both of these teams yielded the same percentage they did in the regular season, there would have been 24 more points scored.

These teams certainly have the ability to take this one OVER the total once again.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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